Publicerad artikel

Strategic self-ignorance, Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 52(2), 117-136

Författare: Linda Thunström  Jonas Nordström  m. fl. 

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.

En kortare sammanfattning av resultaten finns att läsa i AgriFood Policy Brief 2015:4 - Att veta eller inte veta - vill konsumenter ha information om livsmedel?

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Linda Thunström

Jonas Nordström

m. fl.