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Performance of procrastinators: on the value of deadlines

  • Fabian Herweg

    ()

  • Daniel Müller

    ()

Earlier work has shown that procrastination can be explained by quasi-hyperbolic discounting. We present a model of effort choice over time that shifts the focus away from completion to performance on a single task. We show that quasi-hyperbolic discounting is detrimental for performance. More intrestingly, we find that being aware of the own self-control problems not necessarily increases performance. Extending this framework to a multi-task model, we show that deadlines help an agent to structure his workload more efficiently, which in turn leads to better performance. Moreover, being restricted by deadlines increases a quasi-hyperbolic discounter's well-being. Thus, we give a theoretical underpinning for recent empirical evidence and numerous casual observations.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11238-010-9195-6
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Theory and Decision.

Volume (Year): 70 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (March)
Pages: 329-366

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Handle: RePEc:kap:theord:v:70:y:2011:i:3:p:329-366
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  5. Fischer, Carolyn, 1999. "Read This Paper Later: Procrastination with Time-Consistent Preferences," Discussion Papers dp-99-19, Resources For the Future.
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  18. Volker Nocke & Martin Peitz, 2002. "Hyperbolic Discounting and Secondary Markets," Economics Series Working Papers 2001-W17, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  19. Carrillo, Juan D & Mariotti, Thomas, 2000. "Strategic Ignorance as a Self-Disciplining Device," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 529-44, July.
  20. Jonathan Gruber & Botond Köszegi, 2001. "Is Addiction "Rational"? Theory And Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1261-1303, November.
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