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Self-Deception and Choice

  • Jawwad Noor

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Boston University)

  • Igor Kopylov

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of California, Irvine)

The temptation literature has provided models where desires attain satisfaction by commanding the agent’s attention. We consider a model of self-deception, where desires command the agent’s reasoning, leading her to rationalize and justify actions that eventually lead into temptation. Formally, we write axioms for a three-period extension of Gul and Pesendorfer’s (2001) framework and obtain a special functional form for the temptation utility at the interim stage. The representation portrays an agent who is tempted (i) to relax her normative attitude towards future indulgence and (ii) to turn a blind eye to any possibility of temptation altogether. Welfare implications of self-deception are discussed.

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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 WP2010-042.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bos:wpaper:wp2010-042
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Web page: http://www.bu.edu/econ/

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  1. Jawwad Noor, 2005. "Commitment and Self-Control," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2005-014, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  2. Brunnermeier, Markus K & Parker, Jonathan A, 2004. "Optimal Expectation," CEPR Discussion Papers 4656, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Larry Epstein, 2002. "An Axiomatic Model of Non-Bayesian Updating," RCER Working Papers 498, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER), revised Jan 2005.
  4. Jawwad Noor, 2005. "Temptation, Welfare and Revealed Preference," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2005-15, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  5. Kopylov Igor, 2009. "Temptations in General Settings," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-25, September.
  6. Dekel, Eddie & Lipman, Barton L & Rustichini, Aldo, 2001. "Representing Preferences with a Unique Subjective State Space," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 891-934, July.
  7. Kopylov, Igor, 2009. "Finite additive utility representations for preferences over menus," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 354-374, January.
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