Time inconsistency

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This article gives a basic definition in behavioral economics.
View a complete list of basic definitions in behavioral economics

Definition

Time inconsistency is the phenomenon whereby a person's tastes and preference change over time, leading to a different evaluation of the costs and benefits of a certain decision. For instance, time inconsistency may refer to the difference between the value a person puts to anticipating something, the value the person puts to experiencing it, and the value the person places on having experienced it.

Types of time inconsistency