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Do Quasi-Hyperbolic Preferences Explain Academic Procrastination? An Empirical Evaluation

David Patiño () and Francisco Gómez-García ()
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David Patiño: Universidad de Sevilla
Francisco Gómez-García: Universidad de Sevilla

Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, 2019, vol. 230, issue 3, 95-124

Abstract: Traditional neoclassical thought fails to explain questions such as problems of self-control. Beha-vioural economics have explained these matters on the basis of the intertemporal preferences of indi¬viduals and, specifically, the so-called (ß, d) model which emphasises present bias. This opens the way to the analysis of new situations in which people can adopt incorrect indecisions that make it necessary for the government to intervene. The literature which has developed the (ß, d) model and its implica¬tions has generated a categorisation of people that is widely used but which lacks a systematic empiri¬cal evaluation. It is important to value the need for this public action. In this article, we develop a method which makes it possible to verify the main implications that this model has to explain the procrastination of university students. Using an experimental time discount task with real monetary incentives, we estimate the students’ ß and d parameters and we analyse their correlation with their answers to a series of questions concerning how they plan to study for an exam. The results are am¬biguous given that they back some of the model’s conclusions but reject others, including a number of the most basic ones, such as the relation between present biases and some of the categories of people, these being essential to predict their behaviour.

Keywords: Behavioural economics; problems of self-control; welfare analysis; experimental economics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 D90 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Handle: RePEc:hpe:journl:y:2019:v:230:i:3:p:95-124