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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
Handle: RePEc:bos:wpaper:wp2005-014
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  1. Junjian Miao, 2005. "Option Exercise with Temptation," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2005-007, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  2. Jawwad Noor, 2005. "Temptation, Welfare and Revealed Preference," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2005-15, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  3. W. Pesendorfer & F. Gul, 1999. "Temptation and Self-Control," Princeton Economic Theory Papers 99f1, Economics Department, Princeton University.
  4. Akerlof, George A, 1991. "Procrastination and Obedience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 1-19, May.
  5. 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.
  6. Kivetz, Ran & Simonson, Itamar, 2002. " Self-Control for the Righteous: Toward a Theory of Precommitment to Indulgence," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(2), pages 199-217, September.
  7. Ted O' Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Choice and Procrastination," Microeconomics 0012002, EconWPA.
  8. Loewenstein, George, 1996. "Out of Control: Visceral Influences on Behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 272-292, March.
  9. George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility," General Economics and Teaching 0012003, EconWPA.
  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. 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.
  12. 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 S164-S187, February.
  13. 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.
  14. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
  15. O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 1997. "Doing It Now or Later," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt7t44m5b0, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  16. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2007. "Harmful Addiction," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 147-172.
  17. 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.
  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. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1990. "Have IRAs Increased U. S. Saving?: Evidence from Consumer Expenditure Surveys," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 661-698.
  20. W. Pesendorfer & F. Gul, 1999. "Self-Control and the Theory of Consumption," Princeton Economic Theory Papers 99f2, Economics Department, Princeton University.
  21. Martin Browning & Thomas Crossley, 2001. "The life-cycle model of consumption and saving," IFS Working Papers W01/15, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  22. Sendhil Mullainathan & Richard H. Thaler, 2000. "Behavioral Economics," NBER Working Papers 7948, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. R. H. Strotz, 1955. "Myopia and Inconsistency in Dynamic Utility Maximization," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(3), pages 165-180.
  24. Shlomo Benartzi & Richard Thaler, 2004. "Save more tomorrow: Using behavioral economics to increase employee saving," Natural Field Experiments 00337, The Field Experiments Website.
  25. Jawwad Noor, 2005. "Choice and Normative Preference," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2005-039, Boston University - Department of Economics.
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