We propose a model of addiction based on three premises: (i) use among addicts is frequently a mistake; (ii) experience sensitizes an individual to environmental cues that trigger mistaken usage; (iii) addicts understand and manage their susceptibilities. We argue that these premises find support in evidence from psychology, neuroscience, and clinical practice. The model is tractable and generates a plausible mapping between behavior and the characteristics of the user, substance, and environment. It accounts for a number of important patterns associated with addiction, gives rise to a clear welfare standard, and has novel implications for policy.
Bernheim, B. Douglas and Antonio Rangel.
2004."Addiction and Cue-Triggered Decision Processes."American Economic Review,
94(5): 1558-1590.DOI: 10.1257/0002828043052222