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Choice and Procrastination

  • Ted O' Donoghue and Matthew Rabin.

JEL#: A12, B49, C70, D11, D60, D74, D91, E21 Keywords: choice, naivete, partial naivete, present-biased preferences, procrastination, self control, sophistication, time inconsistency Recent models of procrastination due to self-control problems assume that a procrastinator considers just one option and is unaware of her self-control problems. We develop a model where a person chooses from a menu of options and is partially aware of her self-control problems. This menu model replicates earlier results and generates new ones. A person might forego completing an attractive option because she plans to complete a more attractive but never-to-be-completed option. Hence, providing a non-procrastinator additional options can induce procrastination, and a person may procrastinate worse pursuing important goals than unimportant ones. June 2000

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Paper provided by University of California at Berkeley in its series Economics Working Papers with number E00-281.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ucb:calbwp:e00-281
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  1. Goldman, Steven Marc, 1979. "Intertemporally Inconsistent Preferences and the Rate of Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 621-26, May.
  2. Loewenstein, George & Thaler, Richard H, 1989. "Intertemporal Choice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 181-93, Fall.
  3. Thaler, Richard, 1981. "Some empirical evidence on dynamic inconsistency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 201-207.
  4. Brigitte C. Madrian & Dennis F. Shea, 2000. "The Power of Suggestion: Inertia in 401(k) Participation and Savings Behavior," NBER Working Papers 7682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ted O'Donoghue and Matthew Rabin ., 1997. "Doing It Now or Later," Economics Working Papers 97-253, University of California at Berkeley.
  6. Akerlof, George A, 1991. "Procrastination and Obedience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 1-19, May.
  7. Fischer, Carolyn, 1999. "Read This Paper Even Later: Procrastination with Time-Inconsistent Preferences," Discussion Papers dp-99-20, Resources For the Future.
  8. 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.
  9. David I. Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 1998. "Self-Control and Saving for Retirement," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 91-196.
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