IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ags/yaleeg/54536.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Commitment Contracts

Author

Listed:
  • Bryan, Gharad
  • Karlan, Dean S.
  • Nelson, Scott

Abstract

We review the theoretical and empirical literature on commitment devices. A commitment device is any arrangement, entered into by an individual, with the aim of making it easier to fulfill his or her own future plans. We argue that there is growing empirical evidence supporting the proposition that people demand commitment devices and that these devices can change behavior. We highlight the importance of further research exploring soft commitment – those involving only psychological costs – and the welfare consequences of hard commitments – those involving actual costs – especially in the presence of bounded rationality.

Suggested Citation

  • Bryan, Gharad & Karlan, Dean S. & Nelson, Scott, 2009. "Commitment Contracts," Center Discussion Papers 54536, Yale University, Economic Growth Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:yaleeg:54536
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.54536
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/54536/files/cdp980.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.22004/ag.econ.54536?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Eddie Dekel & Barton L. Lipman & Aldo Rustichini, 2009. "Temptation-Driven Preferences," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 76(3), pages 937-971.
    2. Esther Duflo & Michael Kremer & Jonathan Robinson, 2011. "Nudging Farmers to Use Fertilizer: Theory and Experimental Evidence from Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2350-2390, October.
    3. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., 2003. "Consumption--Savings Decisions with Quasi--Geometric Discounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 365-375, January.
    4. Kathleen D. Vohs & Ronald J. Faber, 2007. "Spent Resources: Self-Regulatory Resource Availability Affects Impulse Buying," Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Research Inc., vol. 33(4), pages 537-547, January.
    5. Manuel Amador & Iván Werning & George-Marios Angeletos, 2006. "Commitment vs. Flexibility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(2), pages 365-396, March.
    6. Kfir Eliaz & Ran Spiegler, 2006. "Contracting with Diversely Naive Agents," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 73(3), pages 689-714.
    7. John Ameriks & Andrew Caplin & John Leahy & Tom Tyler, 2007. "Measuring Self-Control Problems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 966-972, June.
    8. Richard H. Thaler & Shlomo Benartzi, 2004. "Save More Tomorrow (TM): Using Behavioral Economics to Increase Employee Saving," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages 164-187, February.
    9. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Arijit Mukherji, 2002. "Can We Really Observe Hyperbolic Discounting?," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 391749000000000478, www.najecon.org.
    10. Noor, Jawwad, 2007. "Commitment and self-control," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 1-34, July.
    11. Keren, Gideon & Roelofsma, Peter, 1995. "Immediacy and Certainty in Intertemporal Choice," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 287-297, September.
    12. Kreps, David M, 1979. "A Representation Theorem for "Preference for Flexibility"," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 565-577, May.
    13. Klaus Wertenbroch, 1998. "Consumption Self-Control by Rationing Purchase Quantities of Virtue and Vice," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 17(4), pages 317-337.
    14. David K. Levine & Drew Fudenberg, 2006. "A Dual-Self Model of Impulse Control," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1449-1476, December.
    15. Stefano DellaVigna & Ulrike Malmendier, 2004. "Contract Design and Self-Control: Theory and Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 119(2), pages 353-402.
    16. Caplin, Andrew & Schotter, Andrew, 2008. "The Foundations of Positive and Normative Economics: A Handbook," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195328318, Decembrie.
    17. Paul William Glimcher & Kenway Louie & Joseph Kable, 2007. "Neuroeconomic Studies of Impulsivity: Now or Just as Soon as Possible?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 142-147, May.
    18. Steffen Andersen & Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2008. "Eliciting Risk and Time Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(3), pages 583-618, May.
    19. Silver, Brian D. & Anderson, Barbara A. & Abramson, Paul R., 1986. "Who Overreports Voting?," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 80(2), pages 613-624, June.
    20. Gary Charness & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Incentives to Exercise," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 909-931, May.
    21. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2001. "Temptation and Self-Control," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1403-1435, November.
    22. Jonathan Gruber & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2006. "Do Cigarette Taxes Make Smokers Happier?," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Yew-Kwang Ng & Lok Sang Ho (ed.), Happiness and Public Policy, chapter 6, pages 109-146, Palgrave Macmillan.
    23. Gugerty, Mary Kay, 2007. "You Can't Save Alone: Commitment in Rotating Savings and Credit Associations in Kenya," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(2), pages 251-282, January.
    24. Uri Benzion & Amnon Rapoport & Joseph Yagil, 1989. "Discount Rates Inferred from Decisions: An Experimental Study," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(3), pages 270-284, March.
    25. Shiv, Baba & Fedorikhin, Alexander, 1999. "Heart and Mind in Conflict: The Interplay of Affect and Cognition in Consumer Decision Making," Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Research Inc., vol. 26(3), pages 278-292, December.
    26. George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 1992. "Anomalies in Intertemporal Choice: Evidence and an Interpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 107(2), pages 573-597.
    27. Todd Sarver, 2008. "Anticipating Regret: Why Fewer Options May Be Better," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(2), pages 263-305, March.
    28. Daniel Gottlieb, 2008. "Competition over Time‐Inconsistent Consumers," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(4), pages 673-684, August.
    29. Mary Kay Gugerty, 2007. "You Can't Save Alone: Commitment in Rotating Savings and Credit Associations in Kenya," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55, pages 251-282.
    30. Benabou, Roland & Pycia, Marek, 2002. "Dynamic inconsistency and self-control: a planner-doer interpretation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(3), pages 419-424, November.
    31. Ambec, Stefan & Treich, Nicolas, 2007. "Roscas as financial agreements to cope with self-control problems," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 120-137, January.
    32. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
    33. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2004. "Addiction and Cue-Triggered Decision Processes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1558-1590, December.
    34. 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.
    35. Botond Koszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2009. "Reference-Dependent Consumption Plans," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 909-936, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. B. Douglas Bernheim & Jonathan Meer & Neva K. Novarro, 2012. "Do Consumers Exploit Precommitment Opportunities? Evidence from Natural Experiments Involving Liquor Consumption," NBER Working Papers 17762, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Basu, Karna, 2014. "Commitment savings in informal banking markets," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 97-111.
    2. 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.
    3. 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," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 242, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    4. Anett John, 2020. "When Commitment Fails: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(2), pages 503-529, February.
    5. 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.
    6. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
    7. Laureti, Carolina & Szafarz, Ariane, 2023. "Banking regulation and costless commitment contracts for time-inconsistent agents," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    8. Joaquín Gómez-Miñambres, 2015. "Temptation, horizontal differentiation and monopoly pricing," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 78(4), pages 549-573, April.
    9. 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 55, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    10. S. Nageeb Ali, 2011. "Learning Self-Control," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 126(2), pages 857-893.
    11. Bisin, Alberto & Hyndman, Kyle, 2020. "Present-bias, procrastination and deadlines in a field experiment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 339-357.
    12. Ted O’Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2006. "Incentives and Self Control," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001262, UCLA Department of Economics.
    13. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 2012. "Timing and Self‐Control," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(1), pages 1-42, January.
    14. Marco Casari, 2009. "Pre-commitment and flexibility in a time decision experiment," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 117-141, April.
    15. Masatlioglu, Yusufcan & Nakajima, Daisuke & Ozdenoren, Emre, 2020. "Willpower and compromise effect," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 15(1), January.
    16. Klaus Nehring, 2006. "Self-Control through Second-Order Preferences," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000391, UCLA Department of Economics.
    17. Méder, Zsombor Z. & Flesch, János & Peeters, Ronald, 2017. "Naiveté and sophistication in dynamic inconsistency," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 40-54.
    18. Stefano DellaVigna, 2009. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 315-372, June.
    19. Nava Ashraf & Dean Karlan & Wesley Yin, 2006. "Tying Odysseus to the Mast: Evidence From a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 121(2), pages 635-672.
    20. Isabelle Brocas & Juan D. Carrillo, 2008. "The Brain as a Hierarchical Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1312-1346, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Consumer/Household Economics; Institutional and Behavioral Economics;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance

    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:ags:yaleeg:54536. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: AgEcon Search (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/egyalus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.