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www.cesifo.de Self-Control through Second-Order Preferences

By German Expatriate Economists and Klaus Nehring and Klaus Nehring

Abstract

We propose to model the exercise of self-control as the second-order choice of one’s own choice dispositions (first-order preferences over outcomes). This choice is governed by second-order preferences over first-order preferences and final outcomes. Specifically, the paper studies the revealed preference implications of the second-order preference model for ex-ante choices among opportunity sets in the abstract, non-probabilistic framework of Kreps (1979). While the implications of the general, unstructured SOP model turn out to be weak, additional restrictions on the relation between expost and ex-ante preferences over outcomes entail behavioral implications that distinguish the SOP model from other models of temptation and from other explanations of negative option value such as deliberation costs or unresolved value-conflicts/regre

Year: 2013
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.320.8429
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