Greg and Jen set an alarm for Valentine’s Day to try and have a second child. The year before, they had just had Lark and decided to try and make sure their children were 2 years apart. Now that the time has come, the two are having second thoughts about whether they are ready since the original reminder was made in a pre-Lark (their child) world. Our decisions from one time period to the next are often not in agreement with one another and cause us to appear to perform irrationally.
Jerry Seinfeld — Morning Guy
In one of Seinfeld’s monologues he covers the time inconsistencies between people’s decisions late at night versus the next day. In his latest Netflix special, Jerry Before Seinfeld, goes through the bit again with some updates. While we assume people to be rational in many models, people do odd things with respect to their own-selves that they may not do if they were forward thinking. This time inconsistency creates a lot of opportunities for discussions of procrastination, overconfidence biases, and other behavioral anomalies.
If you want more economics and Seinfeld, check out YadaYadaYadaEcon.com!
How I Met Your Mother — Past Ted’s Fault
In behavioral economics we begin to study why people procrastinate. If you are teaching Time inconsistency either in your behavioral section of microeconomics or in a full class on behavioral economics, this is a nice short clip to motivate discussion.
This clip and reference come from James Tierney!
State Farm — Time Inconsistency
Time inconsistency is one of those economic topics that is quite easy to have a basic understanding of but quite difficult to understand full models that employ it. This video can be used as a lead in during a behavioral economics course or a microeconomics course that touches on behavioral economics.
Thanks to James Tierney for the clip and description