The Public Economics of Self Control
19 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2008 Last revised: 9 Apr 2008
This paper analyzes self-control problems in intertemporal consumption of a sin good where current consumption imposes a negative externality on one's future selves due to the existence of present-biased preferences. We introduce the negative externality dubbed 'internality', which is augmented by the cumulative distribution function of the sum of previous consumption. We show that the shot-run self with self-control problem over consumes the sin good compared to that of the long-run self without present-biased preferences. Further, we investigate the effectiveness of self-bargaining with the presence of an external control devise as possible punishment. The short-run self faces three possible options: do nothing, accept the long-run self's offer, or reject the offer. In the latter case an external control devices is implemented. It is shown that successful self-bargaining depends on the efficiency of the control device.
Keywords: Internality, Self-bargaing
JEL Classification: E62, H1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation