Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/35341
Authors: 
Koch, Alexander K.
Nafziger, Julia
Year of Publication: 
2008
Series/Report no.: 
IZA discussion papers 3893
Abstract: 
Goals are an important source of motivation. But little is known about why and how people set them. We address these questions in a model based on two stylized facts from psychology and behavioral economics: i) Goals serve as reference points for performance. ii) Present-biased preferences create self-control problems. We show how goals permit self-regulation, but also that they are painful self-disciplining devices. Greater self-control problems therefore lead to stronger self-regulation through goals only up to a certain point. For severely present-biased preferences, the required goal for self-regulation is too painful and the individual rather gives up.
Subjects: 
Goals
self-control
motivation
time inconsistency
psychology
JEL: 
A12
C70
D91
Persistent Identifier of the first edition: 
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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