Ernesto Reuben

Procrastination and Impatience

Coauthor(s): Paola Sapienza, Luigi Zingales.


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We use a combination of lab and field evidence to study whether preferences for immediacy and the tendency to procrastinate are connected as in O'Donoghue and Rabin (1999a). To measure immediacy, we have participants choose between smaller-sooner and larger-later rewards. Both rewards are paid by check to control for transaction costs. To measure procrastination, we record how fast participants cash their checks and complete other tasks. We find that individuals with a preference for immediacy are more likely to procrastinate. We also find evidence that individuals differ in the degree to which they anticipate their own procrastination.

Source: NBER working paper 13713
Exact Citation:
Reuben, Ernesto, Paola Sapienza, and Luigi Zingales. "Procrastination and Impatience." NBER working paper 13713, NBER, May 2010.
Date: 5 2010