The Logical Consistency of Time Inconsistency: A Theory of Forward-Looking Behavior
This paper argues that, to be forward-looking in a logically consistent sense, a decision maker must take account of his overall well-being, not just his instantaneous utility, in all future periods. However, such a decision-maker is necessarily time inconsistent. The paper explores the relationship between how a decision-maker discounts well-being and how he discounts instantaneous utility. It also provides simple axiomatizations of preferences that exhibit forward-looking behavior, including quasi-hyperbolic discounting (Phelps and Pollack (1968) ; Laibson (1997) ). Finally, the paper provides a rigorous way to think about welfare criteria in models with time inconsistent agents.
|Date of creation:||29 Oct 2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/math/Email:
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Email: |
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.:
- Caplin, Andrew & Leahy, John, 1997.
"Psychological Expected Utility Theory and Anticipatory Feelings,"
97-37, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2001. "Psychological Expected Utility Theory And Anticipatory Feelings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 55-79, February.
- David Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 2007.
"Estimating Discount Functions with Consumption Choices over the Lifecycle,"
Documentos de Trabajo
236, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
- David Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 2005. "Estimating Discount Functions with Consumption Choices over the Lifecycle," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000643, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Jeremy Tobacman & David Laibson, 2007. "Estimating Discount Functions with Consumption Choices over the Lifecycle," Economics Series Working Papers 341, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- David Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 2007. "Estimating Discount Functions with Consumption Choices over the Lifecycle," NBER Working Papers 13314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Marciano Siniscalchi, 2006.
"Dynamic Choice Under Ambiguity,"
1430, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Saez-Marti, Maria & Weibull, Jorgen W., 2005.
"Discounting and altruism to future decision-makers,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 254-266, June.
- Maria Saez-Marti & Jorgen W. Weibull, 2005. "Discounting and altruism to future decision-makers," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 784828000000000001, www.najecon.org.
- Hayashi, Takashi, 2003. "Quasi-stationary cardinal utility and present bias," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 112(2), pages 343-352, October.
- Laibson, David, 1997.
"Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
- Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2001.
"Temptation and Self-Control,"
Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1403-1435, November.
- Ariel Rubinstein, 2003. ""Economics and Psychology"? The Case of Hyperbolic Discounting," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1207-1216, November.
- Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
- Loewenstein, George & Prelec, Drazen, 1992. "Anomalies in Intertemporal Choice: Evidence and an Interpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 573-97, May.
- Loewenstein, George, 1987. "Anticipation and the Valuation of Delayed Consumption," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(387), pages 666-84, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1571. 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: (Fran Walker)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.