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The Economics of Immediate Gratification

Tuesday 27 February, 6.30pm
Old Theatre Old Building

Conventional economic theory assumes that people have zero self-control problems, and only pursue activities whose benefits outweigh their costs. This flies in the face of common sense, millennia of folk wisdom and decades of psychological research establishing that people are prone to give excess weight to their immediate gratification.

Professor Rabin will talk about recent efforts to improve the realism of economic theory by developing models for self-control problems. While concentrating on simple mathematical illustrations and general principles, he will discuss the potential for applications to such realms as consumer purchases, savings, addiction and procrastination.

This BP Amoco and LSE Events lecture will take place on Tuesday 27 February at 6.30pm in the Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE, Houghton Street, WC2A 2AE. This event is not ticketed, it is free and open to all.

For further information please call 020 7955 6043.


Journalists are invited to attend this lecture.

If you would like further information or would like to reserve a seat, please contact Susanne Baker, LSE Press Office, on 020 7955 7060 or email pressoffice@lse.ac.uk|

Notes to Editors

  • Matthew Rabin is Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. He is an economic theorist, and a leading researcher in the new field of 'behavioural economics', which seeks to integrate greater psychological realism into mainstream economics. Rabin was recently one of 25 US recipients of a prestigious MacArthur Foundation "genius" fellowship. He is currently working on a book intended as a guide for economists to psychology and behavioural economics.

25 January 2001