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Instantaneous Gratification

  • Christopher Harris
  • David Laibson

Extending Barro (1999) and Luttmer and Mariotti (2003), we introduce a new model of time preferences: the instantaneous-gratification model. This model applies tractably to a much wider range of settings than existing models. It applies to both complete- and incomplete-market settings and it works with generic utility functions. It works in settings with linear policy rules and in settings in which equilibrium cannot be supported by linear rules. The instantaneous-gratification model also generates a unique equilibrium, even in infinite-horizon applications, thereby resolving the multiplicity problem hitherto associated with dynamically inconsistent models. Finally, it simultaneously features a single welfare criterion and a behavioral tendency towards overconsumption. JEL Codes: C6, C73, D91, E21. Copyright 2013, Oxford University Press.

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Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series Levine's Bibliography with number 321307000000000635.

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Date of creation: 08 Dec 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:321307000000000635
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  1. Christopher D. Carroll, 1992. "The Buffer-Stock Theory of Saving: Some Macroeconomic Evidence," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(2), pages 61-156.
  2. Laibson, David I., 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," Scholarly Articles 4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., . "Consumption-Savings Decisions with Quasi-Geometric Discounting," GSIA Working Papers 2001-05, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  4. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 1996. "Doing It Now or Later," Discussion Papers 1172, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Miles S. Kimball, 1989. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," NBER Working Papers 2848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Loewenstein, George & Prelec, Drazen, 1992. "Anomalies in Intertemporal Choice: Evidence and an Interpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 573-97, May.
  7. Angus Deaton, 1989. "Saving and Liquidity Constraints," NBER Working Papers 3196, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Luttmer, Erzo G J & Mariotti, Thomas, 2000. "Subjective Discount Factors," CEPR Discussion Papers 2503, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Akerlof, George A, 1991. "Procrastination and Obedience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 1-19, May.
  10. David I. Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 1998. "Self-Control and Saving for Retirement," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 91-196.
  11. Kyle Hyndman & Alberto Bisin, 2009. "Procrastination, Self-Imposed Deadlines and Other Commitment Devices," Departmental Working Papers 0904, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
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