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Risk, Delay, and Convex Self-Control Costs

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  • Drew Fudenberg
  • David K Levine

Abstract

We develop a dual-self model of self-control that is compatible with modern dynamic macroeconomic theory and evidence. We show that a convex cost of self-control explains a wide range of behavioral anomalies concerning risk, including the Allais paradox, and also explains the observed interaction between risk and delay. We calibrate the model to obtain a quantitative fit. We find that most of the data can be explained with subjective interest rates in the range of 1-7 percent, short-run relative risk aversion of about two, and a time horizon of one day for the short-run self. (JEL D11, D44, D81)
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Suggested Citation

  • Drew Fudenberg & David K Levine, 2009. "Risk, Delay, and Convex Self-Control Costs," Levine's Working Paper Archive 843644000000000332, David K. Levine.
  • Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:843644000000000332
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Matthew Rabin, 2000. "Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1281-1292, September.
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    5. David K. Levine & Drew Fudenberg, 2006. "A Dual-Self Model of Impulse Control," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1449-1476, December.
    6. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
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    10. Loewenstein, George & O'Donoghue, Ted, 2004. "Animal Spirits: Affective and Deliberative Processes in Economic Behavior," Working Papers 04-14, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
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    12. Daniel J. Benjamin & Sebastian A. Brown & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2013. "Who Is ‘Behavioral’? Cognitive Ability And Anomalous Preferences," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(6), pages 1231-1255, December.
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    14. Benhabib, Jess & Bisin, Alberto, 2005. "Modeling internal commitment mechanisms and self-control: A neuroeconomics approach to consumption-saving decisions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 460-492, August.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Alexander Groves, 2013. "Identifying What is tempting," Working Papers ECARES 2013-41, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. Isabelle Brocas & Juan D Carrillo, 2007. "Reason, Emotion, and Information Processing in the Brain," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000001594, David K. Levine.
    3. Gerhardt, Holger & Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah & Willrodt, Jana, 2017. "Does self-control depletion affect risk attitudes?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 463-487.
    4. Friehe, Tim & Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah, 2017. "Self-control and crime revisited: Disentangling the effect of self-control on risk taking and antisocial behavior," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 23-32.
    5. Drichoutis, Andreas C. & Nayga, Rodolfo M., 2013. "Eliciting risk and time preferences under induced mood states," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 18-27.
    6. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David K. & Maniadis, Zacharias, 2014. "An approximate dual-self model and paradoxes of choice under risk," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 55-67.
    7. S. Nageeb Ali, 2011. "Learning Self-Control," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(2), pages 857-893.
    8. Koch, Alexander K. & Nafziger, Julia, 2016. "Goals and bracketing under mental accounting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 305-351.
    9. Sebastian Vollmer & Juditha Wójcik, 2017. "The long-term consequences of the global 1918 influenza pandemic: A systematic analysis of 117 IPUMS international census data sets," Working Papers 1721, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz.
    10. Friehe, Tim & Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah, 2014. "Crime and Self-Control Revisited: Disentangling the Effect of Self-Control on Risk and Social Preferences," IZA Discussion Papers 8109, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Mark Schneider, 2016. "Dual Process Utility Theory: A Model of Decisions Under Risk and Over Time," Working Papers 16-23, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    12. Dufwenberg, Martin & Servátka, Maroš & Vadovič, Radovan, 2017. "Honesty and informal agreements," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 269-285.
    13. Brocas, Isabelle & Carrillo, Juan D., 2014. "Dual-process theories of decision-making: A selective survey," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 45-54.
    14. Houser, Daniel & Schunk, Daniel & Winter, Joachim & Xiao, Erte, 2018. "Temptation and commitment in the laboratory," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 329-344.
    15. Alós-Ferrer, Carlos & Strack, Fritz, 2014. "From dual processes to multiple selves: Implications for economic behavior," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 1-11.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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