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Self-Deception and Choice

  • Igor Kopylov
  • Jawwad Noor

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 David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 814577000000000319.

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Date of creation: 10 Aug 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:814577000000000319
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  1. Brunnermeier, Markus K & Parker, Jonathan A, 2004. "Optimal Expectation," CEPR Discussion Papers 4656, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Larry Epstein, 2005. "An Axiomatic Model of Non-Bayesian Updating," RCER Working Papers 521, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  3. Kopylov, Igor, 2009. "Finite additive utility representations for preferences over menus," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 354-374, January.
  4. Jawwad Noor, 2007. "Temptation, Welfare and Revealed Preference," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2007-008, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  5. Jawwad Noor, 2005. "Commitment and Self-Control," Microeconomics 0509008, EconWPA.
  6. Kopylov Igor, 2009. "Temptations in General Settings," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-25, September.
  7. 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.
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