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Pre-commitment and Flexibility in a Time Decision Experiment

Publication Date:
Jan 2009
Project Programs:
Behavioral Economics

An agent with dynamically inconsistent preferences may deviate from her plan of action as the future draws near. An exponential discounter may do exactly the same when facing an uncertain future. Through an experiment we compare preference-based vs. uncertainty-based explanations for choice reversal over time by eliciting choices for pre-commitment and flexibility. Evidence of widespread commitment favors a preference-based explanation.

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