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Willpower and Personal Rules

  • Roland Benabou and Jean Tirole

Much of the literature on time inconsistency has studied the external commitment devices that individuals use to address their self-control problems: tying oneself to the mast, staying away from temptation, holding illiquid assets, or "asking controls" from others. This paper, by contrast, focuses on internal commitment mechanisms or personal rules (diets, exercices regiments, resolutions, moral or religious precepts, etc.) through which people attempt, to achieve self discipline.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 112 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 848-886

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:112:y:2004:i:4:p:848-886
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  1. Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2003. "Time-Inconsistent Preferences in Adam Smith and David Hume," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 35(2), pages 241-268, Summer.
  2. 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.
  3. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Self-Confidence and Personal Motivation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 871-915.
  4. Drew Fudenberg & David M. Kreps, 1987. "Reputation in the Simultaneous Play of Multiple Opponents," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(4), pages 541-568.
  5. Rabin, Matthew, 1995. "Moral Preferences, Moral Constraints, and Self-Serving Biases," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt97r6t5vf, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  6. Athanasios Orphanides & David Zervos, 1992. "Rational addiction with learning and regret," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 216, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Benabou, R. & Battaglini, M., 2001. "Self-Control in peer Groups," Papers 217, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  8. Richard H. Thaler, 2008. "Mental Accounting and Consumer Choice," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(1), pages 15-25, 01-02.
  9. Becker, Gary S & Grossman, Michael & Murphy, Kevin M, 1991. "Rational Addiction and the Effect of Price on Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 237-41, May.
  10. Juan D. Carrillo & Thomas Mariotti, 2000. "Strategic Ignorance as a Self-Disciplining Device," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 529-544.
  11. Ernst Fehr & Klaus Schmidt, 2000. "Theories of Fairness and Reciprocity – Evidence and Economic Applications," CESifo Working Paper Series 403, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1986. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 41, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  13. H. M. Shefrin & Richard Thaler, 1977. "An Economic Theory of Self-Control," NBER Working Papers 0208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Roland Benabou & Jean Tirole, 1999. "Self-Confidence And Social Interactions," Working Papers 151, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics.
  15. Schelling, Thomas C, 1978. "Egonomics, or the Art of Self-Management," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 290-94, May.
  16. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
  17. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2001. "Theories of Fairness and Reciprocity," Discussion Papers in Economics 14, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  18. Klaus Wertenbroch, 1998. "Consumption Self-Control by Rationing Purchase Quantities of Virtue and Vice," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 17(4), pages 317-337.
  19. Schelling, Thomas C, 1984. "Self-Command in Practice, in Policy, and in a Theory of Rational Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 1-11, May.
  20. Loewenstein, George, 1996. "Out of Control: Visceral Influences on Behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 272-292, March.
  21. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1990. "Multimarket Contact and Collusive Behavior," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 1-26, Spring.
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