We develop a survey instrument to measure self-control problems in a sample of highly educated adults. This measure relates in the manner that theory predicts to liquid wealth accumulation and personality measures. Yet while self-control problems are typically seen as resulting in overconsumption and low wealth, we identify a significant group who underconsume and thereby accumulate high levels of wealth. In addition, self-control problems are smaller in scale for older than for younger respondents. Those who put money aside in retirement accounts may be delaying access to a point at which self-control problems are no longer important. (JEL D12, D14)
Ameriks, John, Andrew Caplin, John Leahy, and Tom Tyler.
2007."Measuring Self-Control Problems."American Economic Review,
97(3): 966-972.DOI: 10.1257/aer.97.3.966