Naïve and capricious: Stumbling into the ring of self-control conflict
We model self-control conflict as a stochastic struggle of an agent against a visceral influence, which impels the agent to act sub-optimally. The agent holds costly pre-commitment technology to avoid the conflict altogether and may decide whether to procure pre-commitment or to confront the visceral influence. We examine naïve expectations for the strength of the visceral influence; underestimating the visceral influence may lead the agent to exaggerate the expected utility of resisting temptation, and so mistakenly forego pre-commitment. Our analysis reveals conditions under which higher willpower – and lower visceral influence – reduces welfare. We further demonstrate that lowering risk aversion could reduce welfare. The aforementioned results call into question certain policy measures aimed at helping people improve their own behavior.
|Date of creation:||01 Sep 2011|
|Publication status:||Published in Journal of Economic Psychology 34(1): 8–19|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Schlossplatz 1, 10178 Berlin|
Phone: +49 (0)30 21231 0
Fax: +49 (0)30 21231 9
Web page: http://www.esmt.org
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Kfir Eliaz & Ran Spiegler, 2006.
"Contracting with Diversely Naive Agents,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 689-714.
- Eliaz, Kfir & Spiegler, Ran, 2004. "Contracting with Diversely Naive Agents," CEPR Discussion Papers 4573, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Kfir Eliaz & Ran Spiegler, 2004. "Contracting with Diversely Naïve Agents," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000530, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Choice and Procrastination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 121-160.
- O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2000. "Choice and Procrastination," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5r26k54p, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Ted O' Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Choice and Procrastination," Microeconomics 0012002, EconWPA.
- Ted O' Donoghue and Matthew Rabin., 2000. "Choice and Procrastination," Economics Working Papers E00-281, University of California at Berkeley.
- Jack Hirshleifer, 1989. "Conflict and rent-seeking success functions: Ratio vs. difference models of relative success," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 63(2), pages 101-112, November.
- Paul Heidhues & Botond Kőszegi, 2009. "Futile Attempts at Self-Control," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 423-434, 04-05.
- 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.
- Benabou, Roland & Pycia, Marek, 2002. "Dynamic inconsistency and self-control: a planner-doer interpretation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(3), pages 419-424, November.
- David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
- Laibson, David I., 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," Scholarly Articles 4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Stefano DellaVigna & Ulrike Malmendier, 2006. "Paying Not to Go to the Gym," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 694-719, June. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)