A Theory of Personal Budgeting

58 Pages Posted: 8 May 2017

See all articles by Simone Galperti

Simone Galperti

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Economics

Date Written: May 5, 2017


Prominent research argues that consumers often use personal budgets to manage self-control problems. This paper analyzes the link between budgeting and self-control problems in consumption-saving decisions. It shows that the use of good-specific budgets depends on the combination of a demand for commitment and the demand for flexibility resulting from uncertainty about intratemporal trade-offs between goods. It explains the subtle mechanism which renders budgets useful commitments, their interaction with minimum-savings rules (another widely-studied form of commitment), and how budgeting depends on the intensity of self-control problems. This theory matches a number of empirical findings and can guide marketing personal budgeting devices.

Keywords: budget, minimum-savings rule, commitment, exibility, intratemporal trade-off, uncertainty, present bias

JEL Classification: D23, D82, D86, D91, E62, G31

Suggested Citation

Galperti, Simone, A Theory of Personal Budgeting (May 5, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2964067 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2964067

Simone Galperti (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Economics ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0508
United States

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