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Working over time : dynamic inconsistency in real effort tasks

Author: Ned Augenblick; Muriel Niederle; Charles Sprenger; National Bureau of Economic Research.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, ©2013.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 18734.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Experimental tests of dynamically inconsistent time preferences have largely relied on choices over time-dated monetary rewards. Several recent studies have failed to find the standard patterns of time inconsistency. However, such monetary studies contain often discussed confounds. In this paper, we sidestep these confounds and investigate choices over consumption (real effort) in a longitudinal experiment. We pair  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Ned Augenblick; Muriel Niederle; Charles Sprenger; National Bureau of Economic Research.
OCLC Number: 826022321
Notes: Title from http://www.nber.org/papers/18734 viewed January 30, 2013.
"January 2013."
Has and online appendix (30 p.).
Description: 1 online resource (47 pages) : illustrations.
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 18734.
Responsibility: Ned Augenblick, Muriel Niederle, Charles Sprenger.

Abstract:

Experimental tests of dynamically inconsistent time preferences have largely relied on choices over time-dated monetary rewards. Several recent studies have failed to find the standard patterns of time inconsistency. However, such monetary studies contain often discussed confounds. In this paper, we sidestep these confounds and investigate choices over consumption (real effort) in a longitudinal experiment. We pair those effort choices with a companion monetary discounting study. We confirm very limited time inconsistency in monetary choices. However, subjects show considerably more present bias in effort. Furthermore, present bias in the allocation of work has predictive power for demand of a meaningfully binding commitment device. Therefore our findings validate a key implication of models of dynamic inconsistency, with corresponding policy implications.

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