IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/tpr/jeurec/v7y2009i2-3p423-434.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Futile Attempts at Self-Control

Author

Listed:
  • Paul Heidhues
  • Botond Kőszegi

Abstract

We investigate costly yet futile attempts at self-control when consumption of a harmful product has a binary breakdown/no-breakdown nature and individuals tend to underestimate their need for self-control. Considering time-inconsistent preferences as well as temptation disutility, we show that becoming more sophisticated can decrease welfare and investigate what kind of mistaken beliefs lead to low welfare. With time-inconsistent preferences, being close to perfectly understanding one's preferences but assigning zero probability to true preferences induces the worst outcome. (JEL: D03, D11, D91) (c) 2009 by the European Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Heidhues & Botond Kőszegi, 2009. "Futile Attempts at Self-Control," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 423-434, 04-05.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:7:y:2009:i:2-3:p:423-434
    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.

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. repec:zur:iewwpx:488 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Schumacher, Heiner, 2016. "Insurance, self-control, and contract flexibility," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 220-232.
    3. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
    4. Florian Baumann & Tim Friehe & Kristoffel Grechenig, 2010. "Switching Consumers and Product Liability: On the Optimality of Incomplete Strict Liability," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2010_03, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    5. Myrseth, Kristian Ove R. & Wollbrant, Conny, 2011. "Naïve and Capricious: Stumbling into the ring of self-control conflict," Working Papers in Economics 515, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    6. Koch, Alexander K. & Nafziger, Julia & Suvorov, Anton & van de Ven, Jeroen, 2014. "Self-rewards and personal motivation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 151-167.
    7. Markus Haavio & Kaisa Kotakorpi, 2012. "Sin Licenses Revisited," CESifo Working Paper Series 4010, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Carolina Laureti & Ariane Szafarz, 2012. "The Time-Inconsistency Factor: How Banks Adapt to their Mix of Savers," Working Papers CEB 12-035, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    9. Myrseth, Kristian Ove R. & Wollbrant, Conny E., 2013. "A theory of self-control and naïveté: The blights of willpower and blessings of temptation," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 8-19.
    10. Akin, Zafer, 2009. "Imperfect information processing in sequential bargaining games with present biased preferences," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 642-650, August.
    11. Baumann, Florian & Friehe, Tim & Grechenig, Kristoffel, 2011. "A note on the optimality of (even more) incomplete strict liability," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 77-82, June.
    12. Carolina Laureti & Ariane Szafarz, 2014. "Having it Both Ways: A Theory of the Banking Firm with Time-Consistent and Time-Inconsistent Depositors," Working Papers CEB 14-011, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    13. repec:eee:eecrev:v:100:y:2017:i:c:p:463-487 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:eee:gamebe:v:107:y:2018:i:c:p:329-344 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Haavio, Markus & Kotakorpi, Kaisa, 2016. "Sin licenses revisited," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 40-51.
    16. repec:eee:matsoc:v:87:y:2017:i:c:p:40-54 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Gerhardt, Holger & Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah & Willrodt, Jana, 2017. "Does self-control depletion affect risk attitudes?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 463-487.
    18. Anett John (née Hofmann), 2014. "When Commitment Fails - Evidence from a Regular Saver Product in the Philippines," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 055, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    19. Sebastian Vollmer & Juditha Wójcik, 2017. "The long-term consequences of the global 1918 influenza pandemic: A systematic analysis of 117 IPUMS international census data sets," Working Papers 1721, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz.
    20. Gopi Shah Goda & Matthew R. Levy & Colleen Flaherty Manchester & Aaron Sojourner & Joshua Tasoff, 2015. "The Role of Time Preferences and Exponential-Growth Bias in Retirement Savings," NBER Working Papers 21482, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Houser, Daniel & Schunk, Daniel & Winter, Joachim & Xiao, Erte, 2018. "Temptation and commitment in the laboratory," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 329-344.
    22. George Ainslie, 2012. "Pure hyperbolic discount curves predict “eyes open” self-control," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 73(1), pages 3-34, July.
    23. Peeters R.J.A.P. & Méder Z.Z. & Flesch J., 2014. "Naiveté and sophistication in dynamic inconsistency," Research Memorandum 005, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

    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:7:y:2009:i:2-3:p:423-434. 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: (Kristin Waites). 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.