Multiple selves in intertemporal choice
We propose that individuals consider future versions of themselves to truly be separate persons, not simply as a convenient modeling device but in terms of actual brain systems and decision-making processes. Intertemporal choices are thus quite literally strategic interactions between multiple agents. Previous neuroscientific studies have found evidence that systems involved with theory of mind (i.e. mentalizing about other agents) are similar to those involved with prospection (imagining oneself in the future). We provide a conceptual framework for this work and suggest that, instead of prospection, a more analogous future task occurs with intertemporal choice and time preferences, since these involve implicit prediction of future actions. Recent functional imaging studies appear to confirm such a link. Additional studies - behavioral, clinical, and neuroimaging - are proposed in order to confirm the specific nature of the correspondence and to elucidate the underlying mechanisms. Finally, given that society may have a vested interest in promoting the welfare of future selves, we discuss possible policy implications of departing from the standard framework in which individuals act in their own best interests as defined over the entire lifetime.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Per Krusell & Anthony A Smith, Jr., 2001.
"Consumption Savings Decisions with Quasi-Geometric Discounting,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
625018000000000251, David K. Levine.
- Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., 2003. "Consumption--Savings Decisions with Quasi--Geometric Discounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 365-375, January.
- Per Krusell & Anthony A Smith, Jr., 2001. "Consumption Savings Decisions with Quasi-Geometric Discounting," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 625018000000000251, www.najecon.org.
- Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., . "Consumption-Savings Decisions with Quasi-Geometric Discounting," GSIA Working Papers 2001-05, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
- Krusell, Per & Smith Jr., Anthony A, 2001. "Consumption-Savings Decisions with Quasi-Geometric Discounting," CEPR Discussion Papers 2651, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Nicolas Vieille & Jörgen Weibull, 2008.
"Multiple solutions under quasi-exponential discounting,"
- Nicolas Vieille & Jörgen Weibull, 2009. "Multiple solutions under quasi-exponential discounting," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 39(3), pages 513-526, June.
- George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 1992. "Anomalies in Intertemporal Choice: Evidence and an Interpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 573-597.
- Paul William Glimcher & Kenway Louie & Joseph Kable, 2007. "Neuroeconomic Studies of Impulsivity: Now or Just as Soon as Possible?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 142-147, May.
- H. M. Shefrin & Richard Thaler, 1977.
"An Economic Theory of Self-Control,"
NBER Working Papers
0208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jamison, Julian C., 2008. "Well-Being And Neuroeconomics," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(03), pages 407-418, November.
- Richard H. Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein, 2003. "Libertarian Paternalism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 175-179, May.
- McCabe, Kevin & Houser, Daniel & Ryan, Lee & Smith, Vernon & Trouard, Ted, 2001. "A Functional Imaging Study of Cooperation in Two-Person reciprocal Exchange," MPRA Paper 5172, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Ted O'Donoghue and Matthew Rabin ., 1997.
"Doing It Now or Later,"
Economics Working Papers
97-253, University of California at Berkeley.
- Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 1996. "Doing It Now or Later," Discussion Papers 1172, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 1997. "Doing It Now or Later," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt7t44m5b0, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- David Laibson, 1997.
"Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
- Read, Daniel & Read, N. L., 2004. "Time discounting over the lifespan," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 22-32, May.
- Cass R. Sunstein & Richard H. Thaler, 2003. "Libertarian paternalism is not an oxymoron," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 48(Jun).
- Frank, Bjorn, 1996. "The use of internal games: The case of addiction," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 651-660, November.
- George F. Loewenstein, 1988. "Frames of Mind in Intertemporal Choice," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 34(2), pages 200-214, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:31:y:2010:i:5:p:832-839. 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: (Zhang, Lei)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.