S-WoPEc
 
Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics
HomeAboutSeriesSubject/JEL codesAdvanced Search
Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg Working Papers in Economics

No 515:
Naïve and Capricious: Stumbling into the ring of self-control conflict

Kristian Ove R. Myrseth () and Conny Wollbrant ()

Abstract: We model self-control conflict as a stochastic struggle of an agent against a visceral influence, which impels the agent to act sub-optimally. The agent holds costly pre-commitment technology to avoid the conflict altogether and may decide whether to procure pre-commitment or to confront the visceral influence. We examine naïve expectations for the strength of the visceral influence; underestimating the visceral influence may lead the agent to exaggerate the expected utility of resisting temptation, and so mistakenly forego pre-commitment. Our analysis reveals conditions under which higher willpower—and lower visceral influence—reduces welfare. We further demonstrate that lowering risk aversion could reduce welfare. The aforementioned results call into question certain policy measures aimed at helping people improve their own behavior.

Keywords: self-control; temptation; inter-temporal choice; pre-commitment; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: D01; D03; D69; D90; (follow links to similar papers)

41 pages, September 1, 2011

Before downloading any of the electronic versions below you should read our statement on copyright.
Download GhostScript for viewing Postscript files and the Acrobat Reader for viewing and printing pdf files.

Full text versions of the paper:

26654    HTML file
Download Statistics

Questions (including download problems) about the papers in this series should be directed to Marie Andersson ()
Report other problems with accessing this service to Sune Karlsson () or Helena Lundin ().

Programing by
Design by Joachim Ekebom

Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0515 This page was generated on 2014-12-14 19:22:38