NBER Working Papers and Publications by Ned Augenblick

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January 2013Working Over Time: Dynamic Inconsistency in Real Effort Tasks
with Muriel Niederle, Charles Sprenger: w18734
Experimental tests of dynamically inconsistent time preferences have largely relied on choices over time-dated monetary rewards. Several recent studies have failed to find the standard patterns of time inconsistency. However, such monetary studies contain often discussed confounds. In this paper, we sidestep these confounds and investigate choices over consumption (real effort) in a longitudinal experiment. We pair those effort choices with a companion monetary discounting study. We confirm very limited time inconsistency in monetary choices. However, subjects show considerably more present bias in effort. Furthermore, present bias in the allocation of work has predictive power for demand of a meaningfully binding commitment device. Therefore our findings validate a key implication of mode...

Published: Working Over Time: Dynamic Inconsistency in Real Effort Tasks* Ned Augenblick†, Muriel Niederle‡ and Charles Sprenger§ The Quarterly Journal of Economics (2015) doi: 10.1093/qje/qjv020

December 2012The Economics of Faith: Using an Apocalyptic Prophecy to Elicit Religious Beliefs in the Field
with Jesse M. Cunha, Ernesto Dal Bó, Justin M. Rao: w18641
We model religious faith as a "demand for beliefs," following the logic of the Pascalian wager. We then demonstrate how an experimental intervention can exploit standard elicitation techniques to measure religious belief by varying prizes associated with making choices contrary to one's belief in a, crucially, falsifiable religious proposition. We implemented this approach with a group that expected the "End of the World" to happen on May 21, 2011 by offering prizes payable before and after May 21st. The results suggest the existence of a demand for extreme, sincere beliefs that was unresponsive to experimental manipulations in price.

Published: Ned Augenblick & Jesse M. Cunha & Ernesto Dal Bó & Justin M. Rao, 2016. "The economics of faith: using an apocalyptic prophecy to elicit religious beliefs in the field," Journal of Public Economics, vol 141, pages 38-49. citation courtesy of

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