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Evolution of Time Preference by Natural Selection: Comment

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  • Arthur J. Robson
  • Balazs Szentes

Abstract

We reexamine Alan R. Rogers' (1994) analysis of the biological basis of the rate of time preference. Although his basic insight concerning the derivation of the utility function holds up, the functional form he uses does not generate equilibrium evolutionary behavior. Moreover, Rogers relies upon an interior solution for a particular kind of intergenerational transfer. We show such interior solutions need not generally arise. Hence Rogers most striking prediction, namely that the real interest rate should be about 2 percent per annum, does not follow.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.98.3.1178
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/june08/20070247_app.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 98 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 1178-88

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:98:y:2008:i:3:p:1178-88

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.98.3.1178
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Cited by:
  1. C.Y. Cyrus Chu & Hung-Ken Chien & Ronald D. Lee, 2008. "The Evolutionary Theory of Time Preferences and Intergenerational Transfers," NBER Working Papers 14185, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Luis Rayo & Arthur Robson, 2013. "Biology and the Arguments of Utility," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1893R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Apr 2014.
  3. Arthur Robson & Larry Samuelson, 2008. "The Evolution of Decision and Experienced Utilities," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1678, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Feb 2010.
  4. Arthur J. Robson & Larry Samuelson, 2009. "The Evolution of Time Preference with Aggregate Uncertainty," Levine's Working Paper Archive 814577000000000087, David K. Levine.
  5. Jason Collins & Boris Baer & Ernst Juerg Weber, 2011. "Economic Growth And Evolution: Parental Preference For Quality And Quantity Of Offspring," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 11-05, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.

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