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Time Inconsistency, Expectations and Technology Adoption: The Case of Insecticide Treated Nets

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  • Alessandro Tarozzi
  • Aprajit Mahajan

Abstract

Economists have recently argued that time inconsistency may play a central role in explaining inter-temporal behavior, particularly among poor households. However, time-preference parameters are typically not identified in standard dynamic choice models and little is known about the fraction of inconsistent agents in the population. We formulate a dynamic discrete choice model in an unobservedly heterogeneous population of possibly time-inconsistent agents motivated by specifically collected information combined with a field intervention in rural India. We identify and estimate all time-preference parameters as well as the population fractions of time-consistent and "naive" and "sophisticated" time-inconsistent agents. We estimate that time-inconsistent agents account for more than half of the population and that "sophisticated" inconsistent agents are considerably more present-biased than their "naive" counterparts. We also examine whether there are other differences across types (e.g. in risk and cost preferences) and find that these differences are small relative to the differences in time preferences.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Duke University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 11-14.

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Length: 61
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:duk:dukeec:11-14

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Postal: Department of Economics Duke University 213 Social Sciences Building Box 90097 Durham, NC 27708-0097
Phone: (919) 660-1800
Fax: (919) 684-8974
Web page: http://econ.duke.edu/

Related research

Keywords: Malaria; Expectations; Bednets; Identi cation; Dynamic Programming; Discrete Choice; Time Inconsistency;

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Cited by:
  1. Pamela Giustinelli, 2011. "Group Decision Making with Uncertain Outcomes: Unpacking Child-Parent Choices of High School Tracks," Working Papers 2011-030, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  2. Alberto Bisin & Kyle Hyndman, 2014. "Present-Bias, Procrastination and Deadlines in a Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 19874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Hanming Fang & Yang Wang, 2010. "Estimating Dynamic Discrete Choice Models with Hyperbolic Discounting, with an Application to Mammography Decisions," PIER Working Paper Archive 10-033, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  4. Mark Dean & Anja Sautmann, 2014. "Credit Constraints and the Measurement of Time Preferences," Working Papers 2014-1, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  5. Yilma, Zelalem & van Kempen, Luuk & de Hoop, Thomas, 2012. "A perverse ‘net’ effect? Health insurance and ex-ante moral hazard in Ghana," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 138-147.

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