Working Paper Series
Maria Saez-Marti and Anna Sjögren
Deadlines and Distractions
Abstract: We analyze the effect of deadlines on timing of effort
when agents are occasionaly distracted. We show that agents precautiously
work early when completion of the task is uncertain, but rather likely.
Agents who are rarely distracted will always postpone effort since the risk
of not completing is small. As a result, increasing the probability of
being distracted may even increase the likelihood of meeting the deadline.
We further show that introducing the possibility of having the deadline
extended may improve the total probability of completing the task without
reducing the probability of completing within the originally announced
Keywords: Deadlines; Timing of Effort; Optimal Incentives; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: D81; J22; M50; (follow links to similar papers)
18 pages, April 13, 2004, Revised July 1, 2004
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