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Commitment and Self-Control

  • Jawwad Noor

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Boston University)

The literature on self-control problems has typically concentrated on immediate temptations. This paper studies a Gul and Pesendorfer [13, 14] style model in which decision-makers are affected by temptations that lie in the future. While temptation is commonly understood to give rise to a demand for commitment, it is shown that ‘temptation by future consumption’ can induce its absence. The model also exhibits procrastination, provides an alternative to projection bias as an explanation for some experimental results, and can simultaneously account for myopic and hyperopic behavior. The evidence on preference reversals supports temptation by future consumption, and suggests that it may not be restricted to short time horizons. .

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Paper provided by Boston University - Department of Economics in its series Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number WP2005-014.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bos:wpaper:wp2005-014
Contact details of provider: Postal: 270 Bay State Road, Boston, MA 02215
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Web page: http://www.bu.edu/econ/

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  1. Loewenstein, George, 1996. "Out of Control: Visceral Influences on Behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 272-292, March.
  2. Ted O' Donoghue and Matthew Rabin., 2000. "Choice and Procrastination," Economics Working Papers E00-281, University of California at Berkeley.
  3. George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Projection Bias In Predicting Future Utility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1209-1248, November.
  4. W. Pesendorfer & F. Gul, 1999. "Temptation and Self-Control," Princeton Economic Theory Papers 99f1, Economics Department, Princeton University.
  5. 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.
  6. Venti, Steven F & Wise, David A, 1990. "Have IRAs Increased U.S. Saving? Evidence from Consumer Expenditure Surveys," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 661-98, August.
  7. Martin Browning & Thomas Crossley, 2001. "The lifecycle model of consumption and saving," IFS Working Papers W01/15, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  8. Akerlof, George A, 1991. "Procrastination and Obedience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 1-19, May.
  9. Matthew Rabin & Ted O'Donoghue, 1999. "Doing It Now or Later," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 103-124, March.
  10. Narayana R. Kocherlakota., 2001. "Looking for evidence of time-inconsistent preferences in asset market data," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 13-24.
  11. Krusell, Per & Kuruscu, Burhanettin & Smith, Anthony Jr., 2002. "Time orientation and asset prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 107-135, January.
  12. Kivetz, Ran & Simonson, Itamar, 2002. " Self-Control for the Righteous: Toward a Theory of Precommitment to Indulgence," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(2), pages 199-217, September.
  13. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2004. "Self-Control and the Theory of Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 119-158, 01.
  14. James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti, 2004. "The Transition to Personal Accounts and Increasing Retirement Wealth: Macro- and Microevidence," NBER Chapters, in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 17-80 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Sendhil Mullainathan & Richard H. Thaler, 2000. "Behavioral Economics," NBER Working Papers 7948, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Laibson, David, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
  17. Read, Daniel & van Leeuwen, Barbara, 1998. "Predicting Hunger: The Effects of Appetite and Delay on Choice, , , ," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 189-205, November.
  18. David I. Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 1998. "Self-Control and Saving for Retirement," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 91-196.
  19. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2007. "Harmful Addiction," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 147-172.
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