Dynamic inconsistency and choice

Theory and Decision 71 (3):343-364 (2011)
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Abstract

In this paper, we analyze an intra-personal game where a decision-maker is summarized by a succession of selves. Selves may (or may not) have conflicting interests, and earlier selves may have imperfect knowledge of the preferences of future selves. At date 1, self-1 chooses a menu, at date 2, the preferences of self-2 realize and self-2 chooses an item from the menu. We show that equilibrium choice is consistent with either a preference for flexibility, a preference for betweenness or a preference for systematic restriction. Overall, the analysis reconciles the decision–theoretic approach of choice over time with the game–theoretic multiple-selves approach

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