IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ecl/corcae/02-10.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Addiction and Present-Biased Preferences

Author

Listed:
  • O'Donoghue, Ted

    (Cornell U)

  • Rabin, Matthew

    (U of California, Berkeley)

Abstract

We investigate the role that self-control problems--modeled as time-inconsistent, present-biased preferences--and a person's awareness of those problems might play in leading people to develop and maintain harmful addictions. Present-biased preferences create a tendency to over-consume addictive products, and awareness of future selfcontrol problems can mitigate or exacerbate this over-consumption, depending on the environment. Our central concern is the welfare consequences of this over-consumption. Our analysis suggests that for realistic environments self-control problems are a plausible source of severely harmful addictions only in conjunction with some unawareness of future self-control problems.

Suggested Citation

  • O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Addiction and Present-Biased Preferences," Working Papers 02-10, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:corcae:02-10
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/rabin/files/p-bpref.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. R. A. Pollak, 1968. "Consistent Planning," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(2), pages 201-208.
    2. George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1209-1248.
    3. Matthew Rabin & Ted O'Donoghue, 1999. "Doing It Now or Later," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 103-124, March.
    4. Goldman, Steven Marc, 1979. "Intertemporally Inconsistent Preferences and the Rate of Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 621-626, May.
    5. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Choice and Procrastination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 121-160.
    6. Harris, Christopher & Laibson, David, 2001. "Dynamic Choices of Hyperbolic Consumers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 935-957, July.
    7. Akerlof, George A, 1991. "Procrastination and Obedience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 1-19, May.
    8. Thaler, Richard, 1981. "Some empirical evidence on dynamic inconsistency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 201-207.
    9. Orphanides, Athanasios & Zervos, David, 1995. "Rational Addiction with Learning and Regret," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 739-758, August.
    10. Jonathan Gruber & Botond Koszegi, 2000. "Is Addiction "Rational"? Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7507, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Ainslie, George, 1991. "Derivation of "Rational" Economic Behavior from Hyperbolic Discount Curves," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 334-340, May.
    12. Becker, Gary S & Grossman, Michael & Murphy, Kevin M, 1994. "An Empirical Analysis of Cigarette Addiction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 396-418, June.
    13. Wang Ruqu, 2007. "The Optimal Consumption and the Quitting of Harmful Addictive Goods," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-38, February.
    14. Fischer, Carolyn, 1999. "Read This Paper Even Later: Procrastination with Time-Inconsistent Preferences," Discussion Papers dp-99-20, Resources For the Future.
    15. Loewenstein, George & Thaler, Richard H, 1989. "Intertemporal Choice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 181-193, Fall.
    16. E. S. Phelps & R. A. Pollak, 1968. "On Second-Best National Saving and Game-Equilibrium Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(2), pages 185-199.
    17. 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.
    18. Goldbaum, David, 2000. "Life Cycle Consumption of a Harmful and Addictive Good," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 38(3), pages 458-469, July.
    19. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
    20. Suranovic, Steven M. & Goldfarb, Robert S. & Leonard, Thomas C., 1999. "An economic theory of cigarette addiction," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-29, January.
    21. George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 1992. "Anomalies in Intertemporal Choice: Evidence and an Interpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 573-597.
    22. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
    23. David I. Laibson, 1996. "Hyperbolic Discount Functions, Undersaving, and Savings Policy," NBER Working Papers 5635, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Pollak, Robert A, 1970. "Habit Formation and Dynamic Demand Functions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(4), pages 745-763, Part I Ju.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Risky Behavior among Youths: Some Issues from Behavioral Economics," NBER Chapters, in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 29-68, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2008. "Procrastination on long-term projects," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 161-175, May.
    3. Méder, Zsombor Z. & Flesch, János & Peeters, Ronald, 2017. "Naiveté and sophistication in dynamic inconsistency," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 40-54.
    4. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Choice and Procrastination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 121-160.
    5. Hammond, Peter J & Zank, Horst, 2013. "Rationality and Dynamic Consistency under Risk and Uncertainty," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1033, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    6. Nocke, Volker & Peitz, Martin, 2003. "Hyperbolic discounting and secondary markets," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 77-97, July.
    7. Kan, Kamhon, 2007. "Cigarette smoking and self-control," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 61-81, January.
    8. Ted O’Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2006. "Incentives and Self Control," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001262, UCLA Department of Economics.
    9. S. Dellavigna., 2011. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 4.
    10. Cockx, Bart & Ghirelli, Corinna & Van der Linden, Bruno, 2013. "Monitoring Job Search Effort with Hyperbolic Time Preferences and Non-Compliance: A Welfare Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 7266, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Drouhin, Nicolas, 2020. "Non-stationary additive utility and time consistency," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 1-14.
    12. Tyson, Christopher J., 2008. "Management of a capital stock by Strotz's naive planner," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 2214-2239, July.
    13. Sophie Massin, 2011. "La notion d'addiction en économie : La théorie du choix rationnel à l'épreuve," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 121(5), pages 713-750.
    14. Liya Liu & Yingjie Niu & Yuanping Wang & Jinqiang Yang, 2020. "Optimal consumption with time-inconsistent preferences," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 70(3), pages 785-815, October.
    15. Matthew Rabin & Ted O'Donoghue, 1999. "Doing It Now or Later," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 103-124, March.
    16. Minwook Kang, 2015. "Welfare criteria for quasi-hyperbolic time preferences," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(4), pages 2506-2511.
    17. Minwook Kang, 2019. "Pareto-improving tax policies under hyperbolic discounting," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 26(3), pages 618-660, June.
    18. Robert Goldfarb & Thomas Leonard & Steven Suranovic, 2001. "Are rival theories of smoking underdetermined?," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(2), pages 229-251.
    19. Wong, Wei-Kang, 2008. "How much time-inconsistency is there and does it matter? Evidence on self-awareness, size, and effects," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(3-4), pages 645-656, December.
    20. Fabian Herweg & Daniel Müller, 2011. "Performance of procrastinators: on the value of deadlines," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 70(3), pages 329-366, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • B49 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Other
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecl:corcae:02-10. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cacorus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cacorus.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.