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Procrastination, partial naivete, and behavioral welfare analysis

  • Asheim, Geir B.


    (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)

This paper has a dual purpose. First, I present a new modeling of partial naivete, and apply this to the analysis of procrastination. The decision maker is assumed to have stationary behavior and to be partially naive in the sense of perceiving that his current preferences may persist in the future. The behavioral implications of such partial naivete differ from those of related literature. Second, I suggest a general principle for welfare analysis in multi-self settings through a new application of Pareto-dominance, which is motivated by the existence of time-inconsistency and coincides with dominance relations used elsewhere in game theory. In the case of procrastination, it leads to a clear welfare conclusion: Being partially naive reduces welfare.

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Paper provided by Oslo University, Department of Economics in its series Memorandum with number 02/2007.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 01 Feb 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2007_002
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, University of Oslo, P.O Box 1095 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
Phone: 22 85 51 27
Fax: 22 85 50 35
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  1. Farrell, Joseph & Maskin, Eric, 1989. "Renegotiation in repeated games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 327-360, December.
  2. Ted O' Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Choice and Procrastination," Microeconomics 0012002, EconWPA.
  3. Asheim, G.B., 1996. "Individual and Collective Time-Consistency," Memorandum 20/1996, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  4. W. Pesendorfer & F. Gul, 1999. "Self-Control and the Theory of Consumption," Princeton Economic Theory Papers 99f2, Economics Department, Princeton University.
  5. Ted O'Donoghue and Matthew Rabin ., 1997. "Doing It Now or Later," Economics Working Papers 97-253, University of California at Berkeley.
  6. Brocas, Isabelle & Carrillo, Juan D, 2001. " Rush and Procrastination under Hyperbolic Discounting and Interdependent Activities," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 141-64, March.
  7. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2005. "Behavioral Public Economics: Welfare and Policy Analysis with Non-Standard Decision-Makers," NBER Working Papers 11518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Laibson, David, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
  9. Goldman, Steven Marc, 1979. "Intertemporally Inconsistent Preferences and the Rate of Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 621-26, May.
  10. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2005. "The Case for Mindless Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 784828000000000581, David K. Levine.
  11. Fischer, Carolyn, 1999. "Read This Paper Even Later: Procrastination with Time-Inconsistent Preferences," Discussion Papers dp-99-20, Resources For the Future.
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