IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/tpr/jeurec/v4y2006i4p673-707.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Ego Utility, Overconfidence, and Task Choice

Author

Listed:
  • Botond Köszegi

Abstract

This paper models behavior when a decision maker cares about and manages her self-image. In addition to having preferences over material outcomes, the agent derives “ego utility†from positive views about her ability to do well in a skill-sensitive, “ambitious,†task. Although she uses Bayes' rule to update beliefs, she tends to become overconfident regarding which task is appropriate for her. If tasks are equally informative about ability, her task choice is also overconfident. If the ambitious task is more informative about ability, she might initially display underconfidence in behavior, and, if she is disappointed by her performance, later become too ambitious. People with ego utility prefer to acquire free information in smaller pieces. Applications to employee motivation and other economic settings are discussed. (JEL: D83, D11) Copyright (c) 2006 by the European Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Botond Köszegi, 2006. "Ego Utility, Overconfidence, and Task Choice," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(4), pages 673-707, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:4:y:2006:i:4:p:673-707
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1542-4774/issues
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

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

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory

    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:tpr:jeurec:v:4:y:2006:i:4:p:673-707. 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: (Ann Olson). General contact details of provider: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/jeea .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.