Doing It When Others Do: A Strategic Model of Procrastination

29 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2016

See all articles by Claudia Cerrone

Claudia Cerrone

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Date Written: June 2016

Abstract

This paper develops a strategic model of procrastination in which present-biased agents prefer to do an onerous task in the company of someone else. This turns their decision of when to do the task into a procrastination game – a dynamic coordination game between present-biased players. The model characterises the conditions under which interaction mitigates or exacerbates procrastination. Surprisingly, a procrastinator matched with a worse procrastinator may do her task earlier than she otherwise would: she wants to avoid the increased temptation that her peer's company would generate. Procrastinators can thus use bad company as a commitment device to mitigate their self-control problem. Principals can reduce procrastination by matching procrastinators with each other, but the efficient matching may not be stable.

JEL Classification: C72, C73, D03, D91

Suggested Citation

Cerrone, Claudia, Doing It When Others Do: A Strategic Model of Procrastination (June 2016). MPI Collective Goods Preprint, No. 2016/10, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2804418 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2804418

Claudia Cerrone (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt Schumacher Str 10
Bonn, 53113
Germany

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