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Heterogeneous impatience and dynamic inconsistency

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  • Hara, Chiaki
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    Abstract

    It has been shown in the literature that if the individual consumers have constant but unequal time discount rates, then the representative consumer has discount rates that is a strictly decreasing function of time, just as is the case of hyperbolic discounting. No contribution, however, has so far established a general relationship between the degree of heterogeneity of individual consumers' subjective discount rates on the one hand and the degree of dynamic inconsistency of the representative consumer's discount rate function on the other. In this paper, we show that the more convex the cumulant generating function of the approximately wealth-weighted distribution of individual consumers' subjective discount rates is, the more dynamically inconsistent the representative consumer is in the sense of Prelec (2004), and vice versa. Applications to the term structure of interest rates are explored and the special case where the distributions of subjective discount rates are taken from an exponential family is investigated.

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    File URL: http://hermes-ir.lib.hit-u.ac.jp/rs/bitstream/10086/23084/1/cis_dp557.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University in its series CIS Discussion paper series with number 557.

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    Length: 23 p.
    Date of creation: May 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:hit:cisdps:557

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    Keywords: discount factor; discount rate; representative consumer; term structure of interest rates; exponential family;

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    1. Guntar Franke & Richard C. Stapleton & Marti G. Subrahmanyam, 1999. "When are Options Overpriced? The Black-Scholes Model and Alternative Characterizations of the Pricing Kernel," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 99-003, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
    2. Martin L. Weitzman, 2001. "Gamma Discounting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 260-271, March.
    3. Ely�s Jouini & Clotilde Napp, 2007. "Consensus Consumer and Intertemporal Asset Pricing with Heterogeneous Beliefs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(4), pages 1149-1174.
    4. Drazen Prelec, 2004. "Decreasing Impatience: A Criterion for Non-stationary Time Preference and "Hyperbolic" Discounting," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(3), pages 511-532, October.
    5. Christian Gollier & Richard Zeckhauser, 2005. "Aggregation of Heterogeneous Time Preferences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(4), pages 878-896, August.
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