IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Strategic Self-Ignorance

We examine strategic self-ignorance—the use of ignorance as an excuse to over-indulge in pleasurable activities that may be harmful to one’s future self. Our model shows that guilt aversion provides a behavioral rationale for present-biased agents to avoid information about negative future impacts of such activities. We then confront our model with data from an experiment using prepared, restaurant-style meals—a good that is transparent in immediate pleasure (taste) but non-transparent in future harm (calories). Our results support the notion that strategic self-ignorance matters: nearly three of five subjects (58 percent) chose to ignore free information on calorie content, leading at-risk subjects to consume significantly more calories. We also find evidence consistent with our model on the determinants of strategic self-ignorance.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://project.nek.lu.se/publications/workpap/papers/WP13_17.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Lund University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2013:17.

as
in new window

Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 28 May 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:lunewp:2013_017
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund,Sweden

Phone: +46 +46 222 0000
Fax: +46 +46 2224613
Web page: http://www.nek.lu.se/en

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "Promises and Partnership," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000001, UCLA Department of Economics.
  2. Andreoni, James & Petrie, Ragan, 2004. "Public goods experiments without confidentiality: a glimpse into fund-raising," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1605-1623, July.
  3. Bohnet, Iris & Frey, Bruno S., 1999. "The sound of silence in prisoner's dilemma and dictator games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 43-57, January.
  4. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2001. "Psychological Expected Utility Theory and Anticipatory Feelings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 55-79.
  5. Reuben, Ernesto & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2009. "Is mistrust self-fulfilling?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 89-91, August.
  6. Cass R. Sunstein & Richard H. Thaler, 2003. "Libertarian paternalism is not an oxymoron," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 48(Jun).
  7. Laibson, David I., 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," Scholarly Articles 4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 1997. "Doing It Now or Later," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt7t44m5b0, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  9. Sujoy Mukerji & Peter Klibanoff, 2002. "A Smooth Model of Decision,Making Under Ambiguity," Economics Series Working Papers 113, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  10. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Jonathan A. Parker, 2002. "Optimal expectations," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24954, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  11. Jia, Jianmin & Dyer, James S & Butler, John C, 2001. "Generalized Disappointment Models," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 59-78, January.
  12. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 653-60, June.
  13. Akerlof, George A, 1991. "Procrastination and Obedience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 1-19, May.
  14. Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus & Tjøtta, Sigve & Torsvik, Gaute, 2007. "Testing Guilt Aversion," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 683, Stockholm School of Economics.
  15. James Andreoni & B. Douglas Bernheim, 2007. "Social Image and the 50-50 Norm: A Theoretical and Experimental Analysis of Audience Effects," Discussion Papers 07-030, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  16. Emily Oster & Ira Shoulson & E. Ray Dorsey, 2011. "Optimal Expectations and Limited Medical Testing: Evidence from Huntington Disease," NBER Working Papers 17629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Bruno S. Frey & Iris Bohnet, 1999. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 335-339, March.
  18. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Studying Optimal Paternalism, Illustrated by a Model of Sin Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 186-191, May.
  19. John Ameriks & Andrew Caplin & John Leahy & Tom Tyler, 2007. "Measuring Self-Control Problems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 966-972, June.
  20. Adriaan Soetevent, 2005. "Anonymity in giving in a natural context-a field experiment in thirty churches," Framed Field Experiments 00198, The Field Experiments Website.
  21. Schlee, Edward, 1990. "The Value of Information in Anticipated Utility Theory," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 83-92, March.
  22. Niklas Karlsson & George Loewenstein & Duane Seppi, 2009. "The ostrich effect: Selective attention to information," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 95-115, April.
  23. Richard H. Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein, 2003. "Libertarian Paternalism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 175-179, May.
  24. Jason Dana & Roberto Weber & Jason Kuang, 2007. "Exploiting moral wiggle room: experiments demonstrating an illusory preference for fairness," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 33(1), pages 67-80, October.
  25. F. Barigozzi & R. Levaggi, 2009. "Emotional Decision-Makers and Anomalous Attitudes towards Information," Working Papers 656, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  26. Tara Larson & C. Monica Capra, 2009. "Exploiting moral wiggle room: Illusory preference for fairness? A comment," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 4(6), pages 467-474, October.
  27. 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.
  28. Christoph Vanberg, 2008. "Why Do People Keep Their Promises? An Experimental Test of Two Explanations -super-1," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(6), pages 1467-1480, November.
  29. Nayga, Rodolfo M., 1996. "Determinants of Consumers' Use of Nutritional Information on Food Packages," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(02), pages 303-312, December.
  30. R. H. Strotz, 1955. "Myopia and Inconsistency in Dynamic Utility Maximization," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(3), pages 165-180.
  31. 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.
  32. Charness, Gary & Gneezy, Uri, 2008. "What's in a name? Anonymity and social distance in dictator and ultimatum games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-35, October.
  33. Philippe Delquié & Alessandra Cillo, 2006. "Disappointment without prior expectation: a unifying perspective on decision under risk," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 197-215, December.
  34. Charness, Gary & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2003. "Promises & Partnership," Research Papers in Economics 2003:3, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  35. Michael Hoy & Richard Peter & Andreas Richter, 2014. "Take-up for genetic tests and ambiguity," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 111-133, April.
  36. Gul, Faruk, 1991. "A Theory of Disappointment Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 667-86, May.
  37. Arthur Snow, 2010. "Ambiguity and the value of information," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 133-145, April.
  38. Soetevent, Adriaan R., 2005. "Anonymity in giving in a natural context--a field experiment in 30 churches," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2301-2323, December.
  39. Broberg, Tomas & Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus, 2007. "Is generosity involuntary?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 32-37, January.
  40. Machina, Mark J, 1989. "Dynamic Consistency and Non-expected Utility Models of Choice under Uncertainty," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(4), pages 1622-68, December.
  41. Andreas C. Drichoutis & Panagiotis Lazaridis & Rodolfo M. Nayga, 2005. "Nutrition knowledge and consumer use of nutritional food labels," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 32(1), pages 93-118, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:lunewp:2013_017. 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: (David Edgerton)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.