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The Shape of Temptation: Implications for the Economic Lives of the Poor

  • Abhijit Banerjee


  • Sendhil Mullainathan

This paper argues that the relation between temptations and the level of consumption plays a key role in explaining the observed behaviors of the poor. Temptation goods are defined to be the set of goods that gen- erate positive utility for the self that consumes them, but not for any previous self that anticipates that they will be consumed in the future.

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Paper provided by eSocialSciences in its series Working Papers with number id:2484.

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Date of creation: May 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:2484
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  3. Gugerty, Mary Kay, 2007. "You Can't Save Alone: Commitment in Rotating Savings and Credit Associations in Kenya," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(2), pages 251-82, January.
  4. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2007. "The Economic Lives of the Poor," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 141-168, Winter.
  5. Christopher Udry & Santosh Anagol, 2006. "The Return to Capital in Ghana," Working Papers 932, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
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  8. Ted O'Donoghue and Matthew Rabin ., 1997. "Doing It Now or Later," Economics Working Papers 97-253, University of California at Berkeley.
  9. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1988. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," MPRA Paper 51644, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Sep 1989.
  10. Becker, G.S. & Mulligan, C.B., 1994. "On the Endogenous Determination of Time Preference," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 94-2, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  11. Nava Ashraf & Dean Karlan & Wesley Yin, 2006. "Tying Odysseus to the Mast: Evidence from a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 635-672, May.
  12. Subramanian, Shankar & Deaton, Angus, 1996. "The Demand for Food and Calories," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 133-62, February.
  13. Esther Duflo & Michael Kremer & Jonathan Robinson, 2011. "Nudging Farmers to Use Fertilizer: Theory and Experimental Evidence from Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2350-90, October.
  14. Katherine Milkman & Todd Rogers & Max Bazerman, 2010. "I’ll have the ice cream soon and the vegetables later: A study of online grocery purchases and order lead time," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 17-35, March.
  15. Laibson, David, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
  16. 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.
  17. Milton Friedman & L. J. Savage, 1948. "The Utility Analysis of Choices Involving Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 279.
  18. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Discussion Papers 911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  19. Bhaduri, Amit, 1977. "On the Formation of Usurious Interest Rates in Backward Agriculture," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(4), pages 341-52, December.
  20. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2005. "Optimal Sin Taxes," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000346, UCLA Department of Economics.
  21. Mary Kay Gugerty, 2007. "You Can’t Save Alone: Commitment in Rotating Savings and Credit Associations in Kenya," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55, pages 251-282.
  22. Jonathan Gruber & Botond Köszegi, 2001. "Is Addiction "Rational"? Theory And Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1261-1303, November.
  23. Paige Marta Skiba & Jeremy Tobacman, 2007. "Measuring the individual-level effects of access to credit: evidence from payday loans," Proceedings 1069, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  24. Aleem, Irfan, 1990. "Imperfect Information, Screening, and the Costs of Informal Lending: A Study of a Rural Credit Market in Pakistan," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(3), pages 329-49, September.
  25. Jean Dreze & Peter Lanjouw & Naresh Sharma, 1997. "Credit in rural India: a case study," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6692, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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