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Doing it when others do: a strategic model of procrastination

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  • Claudia Cerrone

    () (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods)

Abstract

This paper develops a strategic model of procrastination in which present-biased agents prefer to do an onerous task in the company of someone else. This turns their decision of when to do the task into a procrastination game – a dynamic coordination game between present-biased players. The model characterises the conditions under which interaction mitigates or exacerbates procrastination. Surprisingly, a procrastinator matched with a worse procrastinator may do her task earlier than she otherwise would: she wants to avoid the increased temptation that her peer's company would generate. Procrastinators can thus use bad company as a commitment device to mitigate their self-control problem. Principals can reduce procrastination by matching procrastinators with each other, but the efficient matching may not be stable.

Suggested Citation

  • Claudia Cerrone, 2016. "Doing it when others do: a strategic model of procrastination," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2016_10, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  • Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2016_10
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    File URL: http://www.coll.mpg.de/pdf_dat/2016_10online.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. John C. Harsanyi & Reinhard Selten, 1988. "A General Theory of Equilibrium Selection in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582384, March.
    2. Zafer Akin, 2007. "Time inconsistency and learning in bargaining games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 36(2), pages 275-299, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Claudia Cerrone & Leonhard K. Lades, 2017. "Sophisticated and naïve procrastination: an experimental study," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2017_08, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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