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Temptations: A General Theory of Over-eating, Under-saving, Favoritism, Certainty Effect, Spoiling of Children, Pornography-Viewing, and Regretting

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  • Elias L. Khalil

Abstract

This paper traces temptations to biased beliefs—instead of the standard approach that traces temptations to biased tastes. The proposed theory affords, in two ways, a more general framework than what is afforded by the standard approach: First, to start with biased beliefs can simultaneously explain the temptation to cheat others as well as the temptation to cheat oneself. Second, to start with biased beliefs allows us to go beyond the stress on biological urges and time-inconsistent tastes. This allows us to consider cases of temptations that are not traditionally considered as temptations–such cases include favoritism, the certainty effect, the spoiling of children, pornography-viewing, and regretting.

Suggested Citation

  • Elias L. Khalil, 2012. "Temptations: A General Theory of Over-eating, Under-saving, Favoritism, Certainty Effect, Spoiling of Children, Pornography-Viewing, and Regretting," Monash Economics Working Papers 26-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mos:moswps:2012-26
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    File URL: http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/eco/research/papers/2012/2612temtationskhalil.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Daniel Kahneman & Peter P. Wakker & Rakesh Sarin, 1997. "Back to Bentham? Explorations of Experienced Utility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 375-406.
    2. Bengt Holmstrom, 1982. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 324-340, Autumn.
    3. Khalil, Elias L., 2011. "The mirror neuron paradox: How far is understanding from mimicking?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 86-96, January.
    4. Becker, Gary S, 1976. "Altruism, Egoism, and Genetic Fitness: Economics and Sociobiology," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 817-826, September.
    5. 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.
    6. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
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    Cited by:

    1. Khalil, Elias L., 2013. "Lock-in institutions and efficiency," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 27-36.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    shoplifting; shirking; slackening; self-deception; self-delusion; impulsive decider; calm decider;

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

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