2006–2010

Deadlines and Distractions

Reprint No. 2008:30

Author(s): Maria Sáez-Martí and Anna SjögrenYear: 2008 Title: Journal of Economic Theory Volume (No.): 143 (1) Pages: 153–176


We consider a task, demanding a sequence of efforts, that must be completed by a deadline. Effort is not contractible. Agents face shocks to their opportunity cost of time and are sometimes distracted from work. We show that agents who are often distracted may outperform agents who are distracted less often. The reason is that anticipation of distractions induces agents to start earlier for precautionary reasons. Principals can increase the probability of completion, and achieve higher profits, by strategically setting “tight” deadlines, provided that the deadlines can be extended with some positive probability.


Reference:
Sáez-Martí, Maria and Anna Sjögren (2008), "Deadlines and Distractions". Journal of Economic Theory 143(1), 153–176.

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State

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This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

About the book

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