Timing and Self-Control
The dual self-model of self-control with one-period lived short-run selves is excessively sensitive to the timing of shocks and to the interpolation of additional â€œnoactionâ€ time periods in between the dates when decisions are made. We show that when short-run selves have a random length of time this excess sensitivity goes away. We consider both linear and convex cost of self-control models, illustrating the theory through a series of examples. We examine when opportunities to consume will be avoided or delayed; we consider the way in which the marginal interest declines with delay, and we examine how preference â€œreversalsâ€ depend on the timing of information. To accommodate the combination of short time periods and convex costs of self control we extend the model to treat willpower as a cognitive resource that is limited in the short run.
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