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Procrastination and Impatience

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  • Ernesto Reuben
  • Paola Sapienza
  • Luigi Zingales

Abstract

There is a large body of literature documenting both a preference for immediacy and a tendency to procrastinate. O'Donoghue and Rabin (1999a,b, 2001) and Choi et al. (2005) model these behaviors as the two faces of the same phenomenon. In this paper, we use a combination of lab, field, and survey evidence to study whether these two types of behavior are indeed linked. To measure immediacy we had subjects choose between a series of smaller-sooner and larger-later rewards. Both rewards were paid with a check in order to control for transaction costs. To measure procrastination we use the subjects' actual behavior in cashing the check and completing tasks on time. Our results lend support to the hypothesis that subjects who have a preference for immediacy are indeed more likely to procrastinate.

Suggested Citation

  • Ernesto Reuben & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2007. "Procrastination and Impatience," NBER Working Papers 13713, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13713
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    1. Reuben, Ernesto & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2015. "Procrastination and impatience," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 63-76.
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    Cited by:

    1. Reuben, Ernesto & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2015. "Procrastination and impatience," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 63-76.
    2. Daniel J. Benjamin & James J. Choi & Geoffrey Fisher, 2016. "Religious Identity and Economic Behavior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(4), pages 617-637, October.
    3. Jansen, Anika & Pfeifer, Harald & Raecke, Julia, 2017. "Only the brave? Risk and time preferences of decision makers and firms' investment in worker training," ROA Research Memorandum 002, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    4. James Kennedy, 2020. "Subjective Wellbeing and the Discount Rate," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 635-658, February.
    5. De Paola, Maria & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2015. "Procrastination, academic success and the effectiveness of a remedial program," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 217-236.
    6. Fischbacher, Urs & Schudy, Simeon & Teyssier, Sabrina, 2021. "Heterogeneous preferences and investments in energy saving measures," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).
    7. David Patiño & Francisco Gómez-García, 2019. "Do Quasi-Hyperbolic Preferences Explain Academic Procrastination? An Empirical Evaluation," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 230(3), pages 95-124, June.
    8. repec:ubc:pmicro:yoram_halevy-2012-19 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Ward, Jason M. & Anne Edwards, Kathryn, 2021. "CPS Nonresponse During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Explanations, Extent, and Effects," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C).
    10. Oliver Himmler & Robert Jäckle & Philipp Weinschenk, 2019. "Soft Commitments, Reminders, and Academic Performance," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 114-142, April.
    11. Reuben, Ernesto & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2010. "Time discounting for primary and monetary rewards," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 125-127, February.
    12. De Paola, Maria & Gioia, Francesca & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2022. "Online Teaching, Procrastination and Students’ Achievement: Evidence from COVID-19 Induced Remote Learning," IZA Discussion Papers 15031, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Jie, Yun, 2018. "Prepayment effect: Prepayment with clawback increases task participation," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 210-218.
    14. repec:ran:wpaper:895 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Novarese, Marco & Di Giovinazzo, Viviana, 2013. "Promptness and Academic Performance," MPRA Paper 49746, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Non, Arjan & Tempelaar, Dirk, 2016. "Time preferences, study effort, and academic performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 36-61.
    17. OUATTARA, Aboudou & DE LA BRUSLERIE, Hubert, 2015. "The term structure of psychological discount rate: characteristics and functional forms," MPRA Paper 75111, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Behlen, Lars & Himmler, Oliver & Jaeckle, Robert, 2022. "Can defaults change behavior when post-intervention effort is required? Evidence from education," MPRA Paper 112962, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    JEL classification:

    • D0 - Microeconomics - - General
    • G0 - Financial Economics - - General

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