Saturday, March 1, 2014

My weight loss "bet" and teaching behavioral economics

In principles of microeconomics we recently discussed behavioral economics in general and commitment mechanisms specifically.  I decided to personally illustrate a commitment mechanism by committing to pay my students money if I don't lose weight.

The deal: I need to lose 7 pounds in 60 days or I pay my students $100.  That's not a lot of weight, but losing 7 pounds in a time frame is easier said than done.  It will require slightly more exercise and slightly better eating.  I'm hoping to get back to the weight I was when I was in London.

I have until Sunday, April 27th to lose weight.

When announcing this, I had my students vote on how they'd like to be paid should I lose (which I have no intention of doing).  Their options were:

One person wins $100
Two people win $50
Four people win $25
Ten people win $10, or
Twenty people win $5

The class chose to have me pay $25 to four people should I lose.

After class, I went to a weigh-in on the scale at the Susquehanna training room.

My starting weight was far more than I was hoping.  :(  (In my defense, I was fully dressed, shoes and all, as two students were there for the weigh-in.)  I actually hope to get to under 200 pounds - way below the bet.  I'll update my progress here.

Now - it's time to exercise!

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