Strategic self-ignorance

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift


We examine strategic self-ignorance—the use of ignorance as an excuse to
over-indulge in pleasurable activities that may be harmful to one’s future self. Our model shows that guilt aversion provides a behavioral rationale for present-biased agents to avoid information about negative future impacts of such activities. We then confront our model with data from an experiment using prepared, restaurant-style meals—a good that is transparent in immediate pleasure (taste) but non-transparent in future harm (calories). Our results support the notion that strategic self-ignorance matters: nearly three of five subjects (58%) chose to ignore free information on calorie content, leading at-risk subjects to consume significantly more calories. We also find evidence consistent with our model on the determinants of strategic self-ignorance.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • University of Wyoming
  • University of Copenhagen

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Nationalekonomi


  • Strategic ignorance, Calorie information avoidance, Guilt aversion, Selfcontrol
Sidor (från-till)117-136
Antal sidor20
TidskriftJournal of Risk and Uncertainty
Utgåva nummer2
StatusPublished - 2016 apr 15
Peer review utfördJa