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Deadlines and Distractions

Author

Listed:
  • Saez-Marti, Maria

    (The Research Institute of Industrial Economics)

  • Sjögren, Anna

    () (The Research Institute of Industrial Economics)

Abstract

We analyze the effect of deadlines on timing of effort when agents are occasionaly distracted. We show that agents precautiously work early when completion of the task is uncertain, but rather likely. Agents who are rarely distracted will always postpone effort since the risk of not completing is small. As a result, increasing the probability of being distracted may even increase the likelihood of meeting the deadline. We further show that introducing the possibility of having the deadline extended may improve the total probability of completing the task without reducing the probability of completing within the originally announced deadline.

Suggested Citation

  • Saez-Marti, Maria & Sjögren, Anna, 2004. "Deadlines and Distractions," Working Paper Series 618, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 01 Jul 2004.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0618
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    File URL: http://www.ifn.se/Wfiles/wp/WP618.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Toxvaerd, Flavio, 2006. "Time of the essence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 129(1), pages 252-272, July.
    2. Toxvaerd, Flavio, 2007. "A theory of optimal deadlines," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 493-513, February.
    3. Fischer, Carolyn, 2001. "Read this paper later: procrastination with time-consistent preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 249-269, November.
    4. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 1999. "Incentives for Procrastinators," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 769-816.
    5. Fischer, Carolyn, 1999. "Read This Paper Even Later: Procrastination with Time-Inconsistent Preferences," Discussion Papers dp-99-20, Resources For the Future.
    6. Sjögren, Anna & Saez-Marti, Maria, 2004. "On the Timing of Education," Working Paper Series 614, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Katolnik, Svetlana & Schöndube, Jens Robert, 2014. "Don't Kill the Goose that Lays the Golden Eggs: Strategic Delay in Project Completion," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-533, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    2. Toxvaerd, Flavio, 2006. "Time of the essence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 129(1), pages 252-272, July.
    3. Kyle Hyndman & Alberto Bisin, 2009. "Procrastination, Self-Imposed Deadlines and Other Commitment Devices," Departmental Working Papers 0904, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Deadlines; Timing of Effort; Optimal Incentives;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • M50 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - General

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