IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cdl/econwp/qt3v86x53j.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Addiction and Present-Biased Preferences

Author

Listed:
  • O’Donoghue, Ted
  • Rabin, Matthew

Abstract

We investigate the role that self-control problems — modeled as time-inconsistent, present-biased preferences —and a person’s awareness of those problems might play in leading people to develop and maintain harmful addictions. Present-biased preferences create a tendency to over-consume addictive products, and awareness of future self-control problems can mitigate or exacerbate this over-consumption, depending on the environment. Our central concern is the welfare consequences of this over-consumption. Our analysis suggests that for realistic environments self-control problems are a plausible source of severely harmful addictions only in conjunction with some unawareness of future self-control problems.

Suggested Citation

  • O’Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Addiction and Present-Biased Preferences," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3v86x53j, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:econwp:qt3v86x53j
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.escholarship.org/uc/item/3v86x53j.pdf;origin=repeccitec
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 118(4), pages 1209-1248.
    2. R. A. Pollak, 1968. "Consistent Planning," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 35(2), pages 201-208.
    3. Juan D. Carrillo & Thomas Mariotti, 2000. "Strategic Ignorance as a Self-Disciplining Device," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 67(3), pages 529-544.
    4. Goldbaum, David, 2000. "Life Cycle Consumption of a Harmful and Addictive Good," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 38(3), pages 458-469, July.
    5. 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.
    6. Matthew Rabin & Ted O'Donoghue, 1999. "Doing It Now or Later," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 103-124, March.
    7. Becker, Gary S & Grossman, Michael & Murphy, Kevin M, 1994. "An Empirical Analysis of Cigarette Addiction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 396-418, June.
    8. Goldman, Steven Marc, 1979. "Intertemporally Inconsistent Preferences and the Rate of Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 621-626, May.
    9. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Choice and Procrastination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 116(1), pages 121-160.
    10. Harl E. Ryder & Geoffrey M. Heal, 1973. "Optimal Growth with Intertemporally Dependent Preferences," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 40(1), pages 1-31.
    11. Fischer, Carolyn, 1999. "Read This Paper Even Later: Procrastination with Time-Inconsistent Preferences," Discussion Papers 10725, Resources for the Future.
    12. Harris, Christopher & Laibson, David, 2001. "Dynamic Choices of Hyperbolic Consumers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 935-957, July.
    13. Suranovic, Steven M. & Goldfarb, Robert S. & Leonard, Thomas C., 1999. "An economic theory of cigarette addiction," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-29, January.
    14. 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.
    15. Akerlof, George A, 1991. "Procrastination and Obedience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 1-19, May.
    16. Thaler, Richard, 1981. "Some empirical evidence on dynamic inconsistency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 201-207.
    17. Orphanides, Athanasios & Zervos, David, 1995. "Rational Addiction with Learning and Regret," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 739-758, August.
    18. Jonathan Gruber & Botond Köszegi, 2001. "Is Addiction "Rational"? Theory and Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 116(4), pages 1261-1303.
    19. Ainslie, George, 1991. "Derivation of "Rational" Economic Behavior from Hyperbolic Discount Curves," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 334-340, May.
    20. 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.
    21. Wang Ruqu, 2007. "The Optimal Consumption and the Quitting of Harmful Addictive Goods," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-38, February.
    22. O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2000. "Choice and Procrastination," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5r26k54p, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    23. Loewenstein, George & O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2000. "Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5qh6142m, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    24. 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.
    25. David I. Laibson, 1996. "Hyperbolic Discount Functions, Undersaving, and Savings Policy," NBER Working Papers 5635, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    26. Loewenstein, George & Thaler, Richard H, 1989. "Intertemporal Choice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 181-193, Fall.
    27. E. S. Phelps & R. A. Pollak, 1968. "On Second-Best National Saving and Game-Equilibrium Growth," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 35(2), pages 185-199.
    28. Pollak, Robert A, 1970. "Habit Formation and Dynamic Demand Functions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(4), pages 745-763, Part I Ju.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    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. O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2000. "Risky Behavior Among Youths: Some Issues from Behavioral Economics," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5sf0z5rs, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    2. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Risky Behavior among Youths: Some Issues from Behavioral Economics," NBER Chapters, in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 29-68, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Méder, Zsombor Z. & Flesch, János & Peeters, Ronald, 2017. "Naiveté and sophistication in dynamic inconsistency," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 40-54.
    4. O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Procrastination on Long-Term Projects," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5jv059fq, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    5. O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Procrastination on Long-Term Projects," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt1bz181nv, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    6. O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2008. "Procrastination on long-term projects," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 161-175, May.
    7. Ted O’Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2006. "Incentives and Self Control," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001262, UCLA Department of Economics.
    8. Kan, Kamhon, 2007. "Cigarette smoking and self-control," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 61-81, January.
    9. Fabian Herweg & Daniel Müller, 2011. "Performance of procrastinators: on the value of deadlines," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 70(3), pages 329-366, March.
    10. Stefano DellaVigna, 2009. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 315-372, June.
    11. Drouhin, Nicolas, 2020. "Non-stationary additive utility and time consistency," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 1-14.
    12. Hammond, Peter J & Zank, Horst, 2013. "Rationality and Dynamic Consistency under Risk and Uncertainty," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1033, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    13. Nocke, Volker & Peitz, Martin, 2003. "Hyperbolic discounting and secondary markets," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 77-97, July.
    14. O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2006. "Optimal sin taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1825-1849, November.
    15. Eileen Tipoe & Abi Adams & Ian Crawford, 2022. "Revealed preference analysis and bounded rationality [Consume now or later? Time inconsistency, collective choice and revealed preference]," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 313-332.
    16. Nir, A., 2004. "Relationships as Commitment Devices : Strategic Silence," Discussion Paper 2004-49, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    17. Bart Cockx & Corinna Ghirelli & Bruno Van der Linden, 2013. "Monitoring Job Search Effort with Hyperbolic Time Preferences and Non-Compliance: A Welfare Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 4187, CESifo.
    18. Kang, Jingoo & Kang, Minwook, 2022. "Durable goods as commitment devices under quasi-hyperbolic discounting," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C).
    19. Maria Alessandra Antonelli & Valeria De Bonis & Angelo Castaldo & Alessandrao Gandolfo, 2022. "Sin goods taxation: an encompassing model," Public Finance Research Papers 52, Istituto di Economia e Finanza, DSGE, Sapienza University of Rome.
    20. Tyson, Christopher J., 2008. "Management of a capital stock by Strotz's naive planner," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 2214-2239, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    addiction; hyperbolic discounting; naivete; present-biased preferences; self control; sophistication; time inconsistency;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • B49 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Other
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

    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:cdl:econwp:qt3v86x53j. 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: Lisa Schiff (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ibbrkus.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.