Control Thyself: Self-Control Failure and Household Wealth

42 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2013 Last revised: 1 Oct 2015

See all articles by Nina Biljanovska

Nina Biljanovska

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Spyros Palligkinis

European Central Bank (ECB)

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Date Written: July 29, 2015


We examine the relationship between self-control and household wealth. Building on literature in psychology, we take a more comprehensive approach to the concept of self-control and posit that it consists of three ingredients: planning, monitoring, and commitment to pre-set goals. We build a measure which combines those three components and can be computed using a standard representative survey. We find that self-control failure is strongly associated with different household net wealth measures and with self-assessed financial distress.

Keywords: Self-Control, Household Wealth, Household Finance

JEL Classification: D01, D12, D14

Suggested Citation

Biljanovska, Nina and Palligkinis, Spyros, Control Thyself: Self-Control Failure and Household Wealth (July 29, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

Nina Biljanovska

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

Spyros Palligkinis (Contact Author)

European Central Bank (ECB) ( email )

Sonnemannstrasse 22
Frankfurt am Main, 60314

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