Boundedly Rational Dynamic Programming: Some Preliminary Results

12 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2012

See all articles by Xavier Gabaix

Xavier Gabaix

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

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Date Written: January 2012

Abstract

A key open question in economics is the practical, portable modeling of bounded rationality. In this short note, I report ongoing progress that is more fully developed elsewhere. I present some results from a new model in which the decision-maker builds a simplified representation of the world. The model allows to model boundedly rational dynamic programming in a parsimonious and quite tractable way. I illustrate the approach via a boundedly rational version of the consumption-saving life cycle problem. The consumer can pay attention to the variables such as the interest rate and his income, or replace them, in his mental model, by their average values. Endogenously, the consumer pays little attention to interest rate but pays keen attention to his income. One consequence of this is that Euler equations will be biased, and the intertemporal elasticity of substitution will be biased toward 0, in a manner that is quantitatively important.

Suggested Citation

Gabaix, Xavier, Boundedly Rational Dynamic Programming: Some Preliminary Results (January 2012). NBER Working Paper No. w17783. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2010964

Xavier Gabaix (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

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