IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jetheo/v143y2008i1p153-176.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Deadlines and distractions

Author

Listed:
  • Saez-Marti, Maria
  • Sjögren, Anna

Abstract

We consider a task, demanding a sequence of efforts, that must be completed by a deadline. Effort is not contractible. Agents face shocks to their opportunity cost of time and are sometimes distracted from work. We show that agents who are often distracted may outperform agents who are distracted less often. The reason is that anticipation of distractions induces agents to start earlier for precautionary reasons. Principals can increase the probability of completion, and achieve higher profits, by strategically setting "tight" deadlines, provided that the deadlines can be extended with some positive probability.

Suggested Citation

  • Saez-Marti, Maria & Sjögren, Anna, 2008. "Deadlines and distractions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 143(1), pages 153-176, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:143:y:2008:i:1:p:153-176
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022-0531(08)00048-3
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Toxvaerd, Flavio, 2006. "Time of the essence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 129(1), pages 252-272, July.
    2. Fischer, Carolyn, 1999. "Read This Paper Even Later: Procrastination with Time-Inconsistent Preferences," Discussion Papers dp-99-20, Resources For the Future.
    3. Fischer, Carolyn, 2001. "Read this paper later: procrastination with time-consistent preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 249-269, November.
    4. Toxvaerd, Flavio, 2007. "A theory of optimal deadlines," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 493-513, February.
    5. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 1999. "Incentives for Procrastinators," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 769-816.
    6. Sjögren, Anna & Saez-Marti, Maria, 2004. "On the Timing of Education," Working Paper Series 614, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Katolnik, Svetlana & Schöndube, Jens Robert, 2014. "Don't Kill the Goose that Lays the Golden Eggs: Strategic Delay in Project Completion," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-533, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    2. Toxvaerd, Flavio, 2006. "Time of the essence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 129(1), pages 252-272, July.
    3. Bisin, Alberto & Hyndman, Kyle, 2009. "Procrastination, self-imposed deadlines and other commitment devices," MPRA Paper 16235, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Deadlines Time-consistency Timing of effort Optimal incentives;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • M50 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:143:y:2008:i:1:p:153-176. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.