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 in a Changing World Order

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This book explores how the European Union responds to the ongoing challenges to the liberal international order. These challenges arise both within the EU itself and beyond its borders, and put into question the values of free trade and liberal democracy. 

About the book

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