The Allocation of Time in Decision-Making
We study the allocation of time across decision problems. If a decision-maker (1) has noisy estimates of value, (2) improves those estimates the longer he or she analyzes a choice problem, and (3) allocates time optimally, then the decision-maker should spend less time choosing when the difference in value between two options is relatively large. To test this prediction we ask subjects to make 27 binary incentive-compatible intertemporal choices, and measure response time for each decision. Our time allocation model explains 54% of the variance in average decision time. These results support the view that decisionmaking is a cognitively costly activity that uses time as an input allocated according to cost-benefit principles.
|Date of creation:||2009|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in Journal- European Economic Association|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Littauer Center, Cambridge, MA 02138|
Web page: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/
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- Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson & Guillermo Moloche & Stephen Weinberg, 2005. "Information Acquisition: Experimental Analysis of a Boundedly Rational Model," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000480, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Christopher F. Chabris & David Laibson & Carrie L. Morris & Jonathon P. Schuldt & Dmitry Taubinsky, 2008. "Measuring intertemporal preferences using response times," NBER Working Papers 14353, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson & Guillermo Moloche & Stephen Weinberg, 2006. "Costly Information Acquisition: Experimental Analysis of a Boundedly Rational Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1043-1068, September.
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