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Julia Wirtz (External Seminar)
Title: Control, cost, and confidence: Perseverance and procrastination in the face of failure (joint w/ Inga Deimen)
Abstract: We study effort provision and the development of control beliefs over time: a student is uncertain whether she has control over success through her effort or whether it is determined by her innate ability, which she also does not know. In each period, what she can learn about her control and her ability depends on the level of effort she exerts. We characterise the student’s optimal effort policy in this two-dimensional bandit problem, which may feature repeated switching of the effort level. Moreover, we analyse how control, cost, and confidence impact perseverance and procrastination in the face of failure. Finally, we relate our results to findings in educational psychology and discuss policies to foster perseverance and to lower procrastination.