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Menu-Dependent Emotions and Self-Control

  • Joaquin Gomez-Minambres

    (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University)

  • Eric Schniter

    ()

    (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University)

We study a dynamic model of self-control where the history of one's decisions (understood as emotions) has influence on subsequent decision making. We propose that effort and regret are emotions produced by previous decisions to either resist or yield to temptation, respectively. When recalled, these emotions affect an individual's preferences, in turn affecting self-control decision at a particular point in time. Our model provides a unified explanation for several empirical regularities puzzling economists and cognitive scientists. We explain non-stationary consumption paths characterized by compensatory indulgence and restraint cycles, why the amplitude of consumption cycles increases with foresight and decreases with emotional memory, and, finally, we show how unavoidable options that might show up on one's menu influence choices, consequent emotions, consumption paths, and preferences for commitment.

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File URL: http://www.chapman.edu/research-and-institutions/economic-science-institute/_files/WorkingPapers/minambres-schniter-menu-dependent-emotions-and-self-control.pdf
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Paper provided by Chapman University, Economic Science Institute in its series Working Papers with number 12-20.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:chu:wpaper:12-20
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  1. Eliaz, Kfir & Spiegler, Ran, 2004. "Contracting with Diversely Naive Agents," CEPR Discussion Papers 4573, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Eddie Dekel & Barton Lipman & Aldo Rustichini, 2006. "Temptation–Driven Preferences," Discussion Papers 1423, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2007. "Harmful Addiction," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 147-172.
  4. Susanna Esteban & Eiichi Miyagawa & Matthew Shum, 2003. "Nonlinear Pricing with Self-Control Preferences," Discussion Papers 0304-03, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  5. Igor Kopylov, 2012. "Perfectionism and Choice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(5), pages 1819-1843, 09.
  6. Stigler, George J & Becker, Gary S, 1977. "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 76-90, March.
  7. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2001. "Temptation and Self-Control," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1403-1435, November.
  8. Jawwad Noor, 2006. "Menu-Dependent Self-Control," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001061, UCLA Department of Economics.
  9. 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.
  10. Todd Sarver, 2008. "Anticipating Regret: Why Fewer Options May Be Better," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(2), pages 263-305, 03.
  11. David Laibson, 2001. "A Cue-Theory Of Consumption," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 81-119, February.
  12. Iannaccone, Laurence R., 1986. "Addiction and satiation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 95-99.
  13. 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.
  14. Anirban Mukhopadhyay & Jaideep Sengupta & Suresh Ramanathan, 2008. "Recalling Past Temptations: An Information-Processing Perspective on the Dynamics of Self-Control," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(4), pages 586-599, 08.
  15. Dockner, Engelbert J & Feichtinger, Gustav, 1993. "Cyclical Consumption Patterns and Rational Addiction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 256-63, March.
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