Health Club Attendance, Expectations and Self-Control
Using a unique dataset on health club attendance from Quebec, we look at the relationship between actual and expected attendance and how these relate to measures of self-control. We find that a large majority of contract choices appear inconsistent if we do not take into account the commitment value of long-term contracts for attendees with self-control problems: 41% of members would be better off paying the fee for a single visit each time they go to the gym rather than signing a long-term contract. We then find that almost all members have made the right decision once we use subjectives expectations on the number of visits per week at the time of contract choice. We estimate that the median total cost is $229 for those making a mistake. Next, we study how actual attendance following contract choice is related to measures of self-control. We find that reports of self-control problems at baseline are associated with low future attendance and that attendance decreases faster, in particular after New Year, for those expressing such problems. Quite interestingly, those expressing self-control problems do not expect at baseline to attend less often. We show that these results are consistent with a model where agents underestimate the severity of their self-control problems and estimate this degree of underestimation.
|Date of creation:||2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: CP 8888, succursale Centre-Ville, Montréal, QC H3C 3P8|
Phone: (514) 987-8161
Web page: http://www.cirpee.org/
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Uri Gneezy & Stephan Meier & Pedro Rey-Biel, 2011. "When and Why Incentives (Don't) Work to Modify Behavior," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(4), pages 191-210, Fall.
- Stefano DellaVigna & Ulrike Malmendier, 2006. "Paying Not to Go to the Gym," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 694-719, June.
- Ted O' Donoghue and Matthew Rabin., 2000.
"Choice and Procrastination,"
Economics Working Papers
E00-281, University of California at Berkeley.
- O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2000. "Choice and Procrastination," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5r26k54p, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Ted O' Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Choice and Procrastination," Microeconomics 0012002, EconWPA.
- Charness, Gary B & Gneezy, Uri, 2008.
"Incentives to Exercise,"
University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series
qt3tc3j5x7, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
- David Laibson, 1997.
"Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
- Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 1996.
"Doing It Now or Later,"
1172, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Ted O'Donoghue and Matthew Rabin ., 1997. "Doing It Now or Later," Economics Working Papers 97-253, University of California at Berkeley.
- 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.
- Dan Acland & Matthew Levy, 2013. "Naivete, projection bias, and habit formation in gym attendance," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 46827, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- David S. Ahn & Todd Sarver, 2015. "Comparative Measures of Naivet¨¦," Levine's Bibliography 786969000000001139, UCLA Department of Economics.
- R. H. Strotz, 1955. "Myopia and Inconsistency in Dynamic Utility Maximization," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(3), pages 165-180.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:1317. 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: (Manuel Paradis)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.