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Posted: comet.paws on  Mar 31 11:52:16 PM
Title: Revealing Temptation Through Menu Choice: Field Evidence  
Speaker:
Severine Toussaert
University of Oxford
Sponsor: University of Pittsburgh  >  School of Arts and Sciences  >  Economics
Series: Economics Experimental Seminar
Date: Apr 19, 2019 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
URL: https://server1.tepper.cmu.edu/Seminars/abstracts.asp?sem_speaker=Toussaert&sem_date=04/19/19&sem_firstname=Severine
Location: 4716 W.W. Posvar Hall
Paper: http://severinetoussaert.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/LS-2014-v7.pdf
Detail: Abstract of Revealing Temptation Through Menu Choice: Field Evidence



In a field study with participants in a weight loss challenge, I use the menu choice approach
of Gul and Pesendorfer (2001) to explore the extent to which preference for smaller menus
may ?reveal? temptation. Focusing on the temptation to eat unhealthy, I elicit participants? preferences over a set of lunch reimbursement options (?the menus?), which differed in the
range of foods covered. I extract information from the entire ordering to develop measures of
temptation allowing to study its source, strength and structure, and validate those measures
with survey data. Finally, I test whether temptation measured through menu choice predicts
other behaviors that could be symptomatic of self-control problems, such as take-up of, and
performance on, a goal setting contract. I find that choices to restrict the coverage are very
common and generally target the foods rated as most tempting and unhealthy. Furthermore,
the structure of commitment choices appears largely consistent with the restrictions imposed
by the theory. Finally, those who revealed their temptation through menu choice were more
likely to take up the contract and less likely to achieve their goals. The elicitation of menu
preferences thus offers a promising venue for measuring self-control problems.
Interest Area: Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences
 
 
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