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Present-Bias in Different Income Groups

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  • Burak Can

    ()

  • Orhan Erdem

    ()

Abstract

The excessive use of credit cards and increasing consumer borrowing has been a major problem. Laibson (1997) suggests the present-bias problem as one of the driving forces of excessive bor- rowing. Shefrin and Thaler (1988) suggest that self-control underlies national borrowing/savings rate. We conduct a survey to check for present-bias as well as self-control problems among indi- viduals in Turkey. Our findings show that different income groups have similar discount factors, i.e., impatience levels, but very different degrees of dynamic inconsistencies, i.e. present-bias levels. In particular, 29.4% of low-income individuals exhibit present-bias whereas this is down to 6.4% for high-income individuals. Using the parameters we achieve through the surveys, policymakers can design appropriate commitment devices for time-inconsistent individuals to ensure a sustainable level of aggregate saving and financial investment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research and Business Development Department, Borsa Istanbul in its series Working Paper with number 03.

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Date of creation: Feb 2013
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Handle: RePEc:bor:wpaper:1303

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Related research

Keywords: Self-control; present-bias; time preferences; quasi-hyperbolic discounting;

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References

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  1. Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & Melonie B. Williams, 2001. "Estimating Individual Discount Rates in Denmark: A Field Experiment," NCEE Working Paper Series 200102, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Nov 2001.
  2. Ted O'Donoghue and Matthew Rabin ., 1997. "Doing It Now or Later," Economics Working Papers 97-253, University of California at Berkeley.
  3. Jeremy Tobacman & David Laibson, 2007. "Estimating Discount Functions with Consumption Choices over the Lifecycle," Economics Series Working Papers 341, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  4. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
  5. Botond Kőszegi & Paul Heidhues, 2008. "Competition and Price Variation When Consumers Are Loss Averse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1245-68, September.
  6. Stephan Meier & Charles Sprenger, 2010. "Present-Biased Preferences and Credit Card Borrowing," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 193-210, January.
  7. Shefrin, Hersh M & Thaler, Richard H, 1988. "The Behavioral Life-Cycle Hypothesis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 609-43, October.
  8. Thaler, Richard, 1981. "Some empirical evidence on dynamic inconsistency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 201-207.
  9. Laibson, David I., 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," Scholarly Articles 4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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