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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
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE/

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  1. 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.
  2. Richard H. Thaler, 2008. "Mental Accounting and Consumer Choice," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(1), pages 15-25, 01-02.
  3. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2001. "Theories of Fairness and Reciprocity," Discussion Papers in Economics 14, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. Laibson, David I., 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," Scholarly Articles 4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2001. "Theories of Fairness and Reciprocity - Evidence and Economic Applications," CEPR Discussion Papers 2703, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Thaler, Richard H & Shefrin, H M, 1981. "An Economic Theory of Self-Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(2), pages 392-406, April.
  7. Battaglini, Marco & Bénabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2003. "Self-Control in Peer Groups," IDEI Working Papers 189, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  8. 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.
  9. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
  10. 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.
  11. Roland Benabou & Jean Tirole, 2000. "Self-Confidence and Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 7585, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  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. Loewenstein, George, 1996. "Out of Control: Visceral Influences on Behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 272-292, March.
  17. 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.
  18. Fudenberg, Drew & Kreps, David M, 1987. "Reputation in the Simultaneous Play of Multiple Opponents," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 541-68, October.
  19. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Self-Confidence And Personal Motivation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 871-915, August.
  20. 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.).
  21. Klaus Wertenbroch, 1998. "Consumption Self-Control by Rationing Purchase Quantities of Virtue and Vice," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 17(4), pages 317-337.
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