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A Flexible Test for Present Bias and Time Preferences using Land-Lease Contracts

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  • Pieter A. Gautier

    (VU University Amsterdam)

  • Aico van Vuuren

    (VU University Amsterdam)

Abstract

When agents have present bias, they discount more between now and thenext period than between period t (> 1) and t + 1. How fast the future discount rate (evaluated today) decays is an empirical question. Weshow that the discount function can be non-parametrically identified withcontracts that specify payments that take place at various points in timein the future and which are traded and priced in a competitive market.We use a unique land lease-contract data set for Amsterdam, which hasthe above properties, to test for present bias in a flexible way. We findno evidence for present bias in this market. Even though we allow for ageneral-hyperbolic specification (which has exponential discounting as aspecial case), our estimates converge to an exponential discount functionwith a corresponding discount rate (in our baseline specification) of 8 %.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 11-087/3.

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Date of creation: 09 Jun 2011
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20110087

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Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl

Related research

Keywords: present bias; hyperbolic discounting; discount rate; hedonic estimation;

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  1. Laibson, David, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
  2. Thaler, Richard, 1981. "Some empirical evidence on dynamic inconsistency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 201-207.
  3. Paserman, Daniele, 2004. "Job Search and Hyperbolic Discounting: Structural Estimation and Policy Evaluation," IZA Discussion Papers 997, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Hanming Fang & Dan Silverman, 2007. "Time-Inconsistency and Welfare Program Participation: Evidence from the NLSY," NBER Working Papers 13375, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. David Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 2007. "Estimating Discount Functions with Consumption Choices over the Lifecycle," NBER Working Papers 13314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Partha Dasgupta & Eric Maskin, 2004. "Uncertainty and Hyperbolic Discounting," Economics Working Papers 0023, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  7. Uri Benzion & Amnon Rapoport & Joseph Yagil, 1989. "Discount Rates Inferred from Decisions: An Experimental Study," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(3), pages 270-284, March.
  8. Ariel Rubinstein, 2003. ""Economics and Psychology"? The Case of Hyperbolic Discounting," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1207-1216, November.
  9. 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.
  10. Hanming Fang & Yang Wang, 2010. "Estimating Dynamic Discrete Choice Models with Hyperbolic Discounting, with an Application to Mammography Decisions," NBER Working Papers 16438, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Ahumada, Hildegart A. & Garegnani, Maria Lorena, 2007. "Testing hyperbolic discounting in consumer decisions: Evidence for Argentina," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 146-150, April.
  12. Piet M.A. Eichholtz, 1997. "A Long Run House Price Index: The "Herengracht Index", 1628-1973," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 25(2), pages 175-192.
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