IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The Brain as a Hierarchical Organization

Listed author(s):
  • Isabelle Brocas
  • Juan D Carrillo

We model the brain as a multi-agent organization. Based on recent neuroscience evidence, we assume that different systems of the brain have different time-horizons and different access to information. Introducing asymmetric information as a restriction on optimal choices generates endogenous constraints in decision-making. In this game played between brain systems, we show the optimality of a self-disciplining rule of the type “work more today if you want to consume more today” and discuss its behavioral implications for the distribution of consumption over the life-cycle. We also argue that our dual-system theory provides “micro-microfoundations” for discounting and offer testable implications that depart from traditional models with no conflict and exogenous discounting. Last, we analyze a variant in which the agent has salient incentives or biased motivations. The previous rule is then replaced by a simple, non-intrusive precept of the type “consume what you want, just don’t abuse”.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www-rcf.usc.edu/~juandc/PDFpapers/wp-brain.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series Levine's Bibliography with number 122247000000001587.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2007
Handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:122247000000001587
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.dklevine.com/

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2001. "The social discount rate," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 137, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Bénabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2002. "Willpower and Personal Rules," CEPR Discussion Papers 3143, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Dan Ariely & George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 2005. "Tom Sawyer and the construction of value," Working Papers 05-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  4. Laffont, J.J. & Martimort, D., 1996. "Collusion Under Asymmetric Information," Papers 95.389, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
  5. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David, 2006. "A Dual-Self Model of Impulse Control," Scholarly Articles 3196335, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Matthew Rabin., 1995. "Moral Preferences, Moral Constraints, and Self-Serving Biases," Economics Working Papers 95-241, University of California at Berkeley.
  7. Rabin, Matthew, 1997. "Psychology and Economics," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt8jd5z5j2, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  8. Hall, Robert E & Mishkin, Frederic S, 1982. "The Sensitivity of Consumption to Transitory Income: Estimates from Panel Data on Households," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(2), pages 461-481, March.
  9. Camerer, Colin & Babcock, Linda & Loewenstein, George & Thaler, Richard, 1996. "Labor Supply of New York City Cab Drivers: One Day At A time," Working Papers 960, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  10. Benabou, R. & Battaglini, M., 2001. "Self-Control in peer Groups," Papers 217, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  11. Richard H. Thaler, 2008. "Mental Accounting and Consumer Choice," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(1), pages 15-25, 01-02.
  12. Juan D. Carrillo & Thomas Mariotti, 2000. "Strategic Ignorance as a Self-Disciplining Device," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 529-544.
  13. Heath, Chip & Soll, Jack B, 1996. " Mental Budgeting and Consumer Decisions," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(1), pages 40-52, June.
  14. Lowenstein, George & Prelec, Drazen, 1991. "Negative Time Preference," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 347-352, May.
  15. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, September.
  16. Paul William Glimcher & Kenway Louie & Joseph Kable, 2007. "Neuroeconomic Studies of Impulsivity: Now or Just as Soon as Possible?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 142-147, May.
  17. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Self-Confidence and Personal Motivation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 871-915.
  18. 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.
  19. Colin F. Camerer & George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 2004. "Neuroeconomics: Why Economics Needs Brains," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(3), pages 555-579, October.
  20. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
  21. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2001. "Temptation and Self-Control," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1403-1435, November.
  22. Thaler, Richard H & Shefrin, H M, 1981. "An Economic Theory of Self-Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(2), pages 392-406, April.
  23. Manuel Amador & George-Marios Angeletos & Ivan Werning, 2004. "Commitment vs. Flexibility," 2004 Meeting Papers 87, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  24. Colin Camerer & George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 2003. "Neuroeconomics: How neuroscience can inform economics," Levine's Bibliography 506439000000000484, UCLA Department of Economics.
  25. Caillaud, B. & Jullien, B., 1999. "Modelling Time Inconsistent Preferences," Papers 99.521, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
  26. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
  27. 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.
  28. Shefrin, Hersh M & Thaler, Richard H, 1988. "The Behavioral Life-Cycle Hypothesis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 609-643, October.
  29. Loewenstein, George, 1996. "Out of Control: Visceral Influences on Behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 272-292, March.
  30. Guesnerie, Roger & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1984. "A complete solution to a class of principal-agent problems with an application to the control of a self-managed firm," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 329-369, December.
  31. Benabou, Roland & Pycia, Marek, 2002. "Dynamic inconsistency and self-control: a planner-doer interpretation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(3), pages 419-424, November.
  32. 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.
  33. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2001. "Psychological Expected Utility Theory and Anticipatory Feelings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 55-79.
  34. Isabelle Brocas & Juan D. Carrillo, 2004. "Entrepreneurial Boldness and Excessive Investment," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 321-350, 06.
  35. Tirole, Jean, 2002. "Rational irrationality: Some economics of self-management," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 633-655, May.
  36. Read, Daniel & Loewenstein, George & Rabin, Matthew, 1999. "Choice Bracketing," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 171-197, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Economic Logic blog

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:122247000000001587. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David K. Levine)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.