Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Curious Economics of Temptation

Undercover Economist ("The economic mysteries of daily life") Tim Harford writes in Slate on the Economics of Temptation.

One of the results of the recent research is that we have a sense of just how strong the pull of the now actually is. The answer is that anything on offer right now is worth half as much, again, as it would otherwise be; that also means that any immediate cost, such as the pain of going to the gym, is similarly inflated. (That is, you'd much rather go to the gym next week than today.) Of course, the costs will vary across people and across temptations, but that seems to be a consistent finding.


At 11/29/2006 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the article and links. I used a link from your link ("Save More for Tomorrow") as a source for some research on defined-benefit and defined-contribution pension plans. Behavioral, social, and political aspects of economics are interesting fields that tend to humanize what can otherwise be a rather depersonalized science.


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