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Measuring Individual Time Preferences

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  • Luc Arrondel

    (CNRS and PSE)

  • André Masson

    (CNRS, EHESS and PSE)

  • Daniel Verger

    (INSEE)

Abstract

Microeconomic theory makes a savers choices dependent on the lifecycle of his discount rate, or on the subjective discount rate he uses to anticipate his future gratifications. This time preference needs to be differentiated from the parameters that govern his decisions as regards other timeframes: his extent of shorter-run impatience, his intergenerational altruism. A specific questionnaire has been put to a sub-sample of the 1998 INSEE Patrimoine survey on personal wealth to evaluate these individual preferences. It puts a range of simple questions seeking to identify what the time preference really represents in terms of decision-making period and life plans. The discount rate, impatience and extents of altruism are evaluated by ordinal scores. Who is provident impatient or altruistic? The explanatory regressions generally produce the expected findings. The surprise is that women do not appear to be more provident or even more altruistic than the men as regards their children.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques in its journal Economie et Statistique.

Volume (Year): 374-375 (2005)
Issue (Month): (May)
Pages: 87-128

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Handle: RePEc:crs:ecosta:es374-375e

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Related research

Keywords: Time Preference; Discounted Utility; Life Cycle Models;

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References

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