Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Dynamic model of procrastination

Vrany, Martin (2010): Dynamic model of procrastination.

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Abstract

Procrastination is the notorious tendency to postpone work for tomorrow. This paper presents a formal model of procrastination based on expectations and prospect theory, which differs signficantly from the prevalent model of O’Donoghue and Rabin. Subject is assumed to work on a task for distant reward which depends on the number of periods actually spent working, where the subject faces varying op- portunity costs of working each period before the deadline. In order to assess a hypothesis that procrastination is an evolved and stable habit, the model is rendered dynamic in that past decisions and circumstances affect the present. The model is first explored via qualitative analysis and simulations are performed to further reveal its functionality.

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