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Time preference and its relationship with age, health, and survival probability

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  • Li-Wei Chao
  • Helena Szrek
  • Nuno Sousa Pereira
  • Mark V. Pauly

Abstract

Although theories from economics and evolutionary biology predict that one's age, health, and survival probability should be associated with one's subjective discount rate (SDR), few studies have empirically tested for these links. Our study analyzes in detail how the SDR is related to age, health, and survival probability, by surveying a sample of individuals in townships around Durban, South Africa. In contrast to previous studies, we find that age is not significantly related to the SDR, but both physical health and survival expectations have a U-shaped relationship with the SDR. Individuals in very poor health have high discount rates, and those in very good health also have high discount rates. Similarly, those with expected survival probability on the extremes have high discount rates. Therefore, health and survival probability, and not age, seem to be predictors of one's SDR in an area of the world with high morbidity and mortality.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Society for Judgment and Decision Making in its journal Judgment and Decision Making.

Volume (Year): 4 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 1-19

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Handle: RePEc:jdm:journl:v:4:y:2009:i:1:p:1-19

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Related research

Keywords: subjective discount rate; delay discounting; expected survival probability; health; age; South Africa.;

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Cited by:
  1. Lawless, Lydia J.R. & Nayga, Rodolfo & Drichoutis, Andreas, 2013. "Time preference and health behaviour: A review," MPRA Paper 45382, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Tsusaka, Takuji W. & Kajisa, Kei & Pede, Valerien O. & Aoyagi, Keitaro, 2013. "Neighbourhood effects and social behaviour: the case of irrigated and rainfed farmeres in Bohol, the Philippines," MPRA Paper 50130, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Beraldo, Sergio & Caruso, Raul & Turati, Gilberto, 2013. "Life is now! Time preferences and crime: Aggregate evidence from the Italian regions," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 73-81.
  4. Alex Krumer & Tal Shavit & Mosi Rosenboim, 2011. "Why do professional athletes have different time preferences than non-athletes?," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 6(6), pages 542-551, August.
  5. Dahal, Arati & Fertig, Angela, 2013. "An econometric assessment of the effect of mental illness on household spending behavior," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 18-33.
  6. Tsusaka, Takuji W. & Kajisa, Kei & Pede, Valerien O. & Aoyagi, Keitaro, 2012. "Neighborhood Effects on Social Behavior: The Case of Irrigated and Rainfed Farmers in Bohol, the Philippines," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124789, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  7. Frank Sloan & Alyssa Platt, 2011. "Information, risk perceptions, and smoking choices of youth," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 161-193, April.
  8. Mathilde Almlund & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Tim D. Kautz, 2011. "Personality Psychology and Economics," NBER Working Papers 16822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Wei-Bin Zhang, 2013. "Habit Formation and Preference Change with Capital and Renewable Resources," Business Systems Research, Society for Promotion of Business Information Technology (BIT), vol. 4(2), pages 108-125.
  10. Wei-Bin ZHANG, 2012. "Habits, Saving Propensity, And Economic Growth," Scientific Bulletin - Economic Sciences, University of Pitesti, vol. 11(2), pages 3-15.

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