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Commitments and weak resolve

Igor Kopylov () and Jawwad Noor ()
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Igor Kopylov: UC Irvine

Economic Theory, 2018, vol. 66, issue 1, No 1, 19 pages

Abstract: Abstract Weak resolve can make agents forgo normatively desirable commitments and succumb to temptations later. Anticipating such failures, agents may use strategies like promises or deadlines to help themselves make proper commitments before temptations strike. We identify such behaviors via a three-period extension of Gul and Pesendorfer’s (Econometrica 69:1403–1435, 2001) model. Our main utility representation portrays an agent who is confident ex ante about her normative goals, but her resolve wavers at the interim stage leading her to relax these goals toward future temptations and possibly other directions. All components of our representations are derived in an essentially unique way from axioms imposed on choice behavior.

Keywords: Commitment; Deadlines; Engagements; Monotone self-control (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D01 D03 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1007/s00199-017-1061-0

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