Yang: “Revising commitments: Field evidence on the adjustment of prior choices”

January 16, 2017

An article by Dean Yang, Xavier Giné, Jessica Goldberg and Dan Silverman, "Revising Commitments: Field Evidence on the Adjustment of Prior Choices," was published in The Economic Journal on April 25, 2016.


We implement an artefactual field experiment in rural Malawi to study revisions of prior choices regarding future income receipts. This allows examination of intertemporal choice revision and its determinants. New tests provide evidence of self-control problems for some participants. Revisions of money allocations toward the present are positively associated with refined measures of present-bias from an earlier survey, and with the randomly assigned closeness in time to the first possible date of money disbursement. We find little evidence that revisions of allocations toward the present are associated with spousal preferences for such revision, household shocks, or the financial sophistication of respondents.