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Performance of Procrastinators: On the Value of Deadlines

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  • Herweg, Fabian
  • Müller, Daniel

Abstract

Earlier work has shown that procrastination can be explained by quasi-hyperbolic discounting. We present a model of effort choice over time that shifts the focus away from completion to performance on a single task. We show that quasi-hyperbolic discounting is detrimental for performance. More intrestingly, we find that being aware of the own self-control problems not necessarily increases performance. Extending this framework to a multi-task model, we show that deadlines help an agent to structure his workload more efficiently, which in turn leads to better performance. Moreover, being restricted by deadlines increases a quasi-hyperbolic discounter's well-being. Thus, we give a theoretical underpinning for recent empirical evidence and numerous casual observations.

Suggested Citation

  • Herweg, Fabian & Müller, Daniel, 2008. "Performance of Procrastinators: On the Value of Deadlines," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers 3/2008, University of Bonn, Bonn Graduate School of Economics (BGSE).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:bonedp:32008
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    Cited by:

    1. Murooka, Takeshi & Schwarz, Marco A., 2018. "The timing of choice-enhancing policies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 27-40.
    2. Else Gry Bro Christensen & Takeshi Murooka, 2020. "Procrastination and Learning about Self-Control," OSIPP Discussion Paper 20E001, Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University.
    3. Alexander K. Koch & Julia Nafziger, 2011. "Self‐regulation through Goal Setting," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 113(1), pages 212-227, March.
    4. Murooka, Takeshi & Schwarz, Marco A., 2019. "Consumer exploitation and notice periods," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 174(C), pages 89-92.
    5. Steffen Altmann & Christian Traxler & Philipp Weinschenk, 2017. "Deadlines and Cognitive Limitations," CESifo Working Paper Series 6761, CESifo.
    6. Akin, Zafer, 2012. "Intertemporal decision making with present biased preferences," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 30-47.
    7. Katolnik, Svetlana & Schöndube, Jens Robert, 2015. "Don't Kill the Goose that Lays the Golden Eggs: Strategic Delay in Project Completion," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113046, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    8. Katolnik, Svetlana & Schöndube, Jens Robert, 2014. "Don't Kill the Goose that Lays the Golden Eggs: Strategic Delay in Project Completion," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-533, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    9. Anderberg, Dan & Rainer, Helmut & Roeder, Kerstin, 2018. "Family-specific investments and divorce with dynamically inconsistent households: Marital contracts and policy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 199-225.
    10. Koch, Alexander K. & Nafziger, Julia, 2009. "Commitment to Self-Rewards," IZA Discussion Papers 4049, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Koch, Alexander K. & Nafziger, Julia, 2009. "Motivational Goal Bracketing," IZA Discussion Papers 4471, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Koch, Alexander K. & Nafziger, Julia, 2011. "Goals and Psychological Accounting," IZA Discussion Papers 5802, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Ryo Nakajima & Michitaka Sasaki & Ryuichi Tamura, 2020. "Examining Patent Examiners: Present Bias, Procrastination and Task Performance," Keio-IES Discussion Paper Series 2020-015, Institute for Economics Studies, Keio University.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Effort Choice; Deadlines; (Quasi-) Hyperbolic Discounting; Naiveté; Present-Biased Preferences ; Sophistication;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory

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