Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

How General Are Time Preferences? Eliciting Good-Specific Discount Rates

Contents:

Author Info

  • Diego Ubfal

Abstract

This paper tests the broadly adopted assumption that people apply a single discount rate to the utility from different sources of consumption. Using unique data from two surveys conducted in rural Uganda including both hypothetical and real choices over different goods, the paper elicits time preferences from approximately 2,400 subjects. The data reject the null of equal discount rates across goods under a number of different modeling assumptions. These results have important theoretical and policy implications. For instance, they provide support for the idea that time-inconsistent behaviors and a corresponding demand for commitment can be observed even if individuals do not exhibit horizon-specific discounting. In addition, good-specific discounting, under certain conditions, can explain the persistence of poverty and low savings by the poor. The paper presents evidence that these conditions are satisfied in the context under study by showing that the share of expenditures on those goods with higher discoun t rates is decreasing with income. JEL Classification: D01, D91, O1 Keywords: time preferences, self-control problems, good-specific discounting, savings,poverty traps.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: ftp://ftp.igier.unibocconi.it/wp/2013/473.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University in its series Working Papers with number 473.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:473

Contact details of provider:
Postal: via Rontgen, 1 - 20136 Milano (Italy)
Phone: 0039-02-58363301
Fax: 0039-02-58363302
Web page: http://www.igier.unibocconi.it/

Order Information:
Email:
Web: http://www.igier.unibocconi.it/en/papers/index.htm

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 2004. "A Dual Self Model of Impulse Control," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2049, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Deaton, A. & Zaidi, S., 1999. "Guidelines for Constructing Consumption Aggregates for Welfare Analysis," Papers 192, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  3. Orazio Attanasio & Erich Battistin & Alice Mesnard, 2012. "Food and Cash Transfers: Evidence from Colombia," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(559), pages 92-124, 03.
  4. Reuben, Ernesto & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2008. "Time discounting for primary and monetary rewards," MPRA Paper 10650, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Susan Laury & Melayne McInnes & J. Todd Swarthout, 2012. "Avoiding the curves: Direct elicitation of time preferences," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 181-217, June.
  6. Siwan Anderson & Jean-Marie Baland, 2002. "The Economics Of Roscas And Intrahousehold Resource Allocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 963-995, August.
  7. Laibson, David, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
  8. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2007. "The Economic Lives of the Poor," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 141-168, Winter.
  9. Wilcox, Nathaniel, 2007. "Stochastically more risk averse: A contextual theory of stochastic discrete choice under risk," MPRA Paper 11851, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 1996. "Doing It Now or Later," Discussion Papers 1172, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  11. James Andreoni & Charles Sprenger, 2010. "Estimating Time Preferences from Convex Budgets," NBER Working Papers 16347, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Steffen Andersen & Glenn W. Harrison & Morten Lau & Elisabet E. Rutstroem, 2011. "Discounting Behavior and the Magnitude Effect," Working Papers 2011_02, Durham University Business School.
  13. Pascaline Dupas & Jonathan Robinson, 2013. "Why Don't the Poor Save More? Evidence from Health Savings Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1138-71, June.
  14. Thaler, Richard H & Shefrin, H M, 1981. "An Economic Theory of Self-Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(2), pages 392-406, April.
  15. Nava Ashraf, 2009. "Spousal Control and Intra-household Decision Making: An Experimental Study in the Philippines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1245-77, September.
  16. James Banks & Richard Blundell & Arthur Lewbel, 1997. "Quadratic Engel Curves And Consumer Demand," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 527-539, November.
  17. Stefano DellaVigna, 2009. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 315-72, June.
  18. Maribeth Coller & Melonie Williams, 1999. "Eliciting Individual Discount Rates," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 107-127, December.
  19. Abhijit Banerjee & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2010. "The Shape of Temptation: Implications for the Economic Lives of the Poor," NBER Working Papers 15973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Jakiela, Pamela & Ozier, Owen, 2012. "Does Africa need a rotten Kin Theorem ? experimental evidence from village economies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6085, The World Bank.
  21. Holden, Stein T. & Shiferaw, Bekele & Wik, Mette, 1998. "Poverty, market imperfections and time preferences: of relevance for environmental policy?," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(01), pages 105-130, February.
  22. Nava Ashraf & Dean S. Karlan & Wesley Yin, 2005. "Tying Odysseus to the Mast: Evidence from a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines," Working Papers 917, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  23. Michal Bauer & Julie Chytilová & Jonathan Morduch, 2008. "Behavioral Foundations of Microcredit: Experimental and Survey Evidence From Rural India," Working Papers IES 2008/28, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Nov 2008.
  24. Steffen Andersen & Glenn W. Harrison & Morten Lau & Elisabet E. Rutstroem, 2011. "Intertemporal Utility and Correlation Aversion," Working Papers 2011_03, Durham University Business School.
  25. Costas Aariadis & John Stachurski, 2004. "Poverty Traps," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 913, The University of Melbourne.
    • Azariadis, Costas & Stachurski, John, 2005. "Poverty Traps," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 5 Elsevier.
  26. Xavier Gin� & Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2010. "Put Your Money Where Your Butt Is: A Commitment Contract for Smoking Cessation," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 213-35, October.
  27. klemick, Heather & Yesuf, Mahmud, 2008. "Do Discount Rates Change over Time? Experimental Evidence from Ethiopia," Discussion Papers dp-08-06-efd, Resources For the Future.
  28. Fafchamps, Marcel & McKenzie, David & McKenzie, David & Quinn, Simon & Woodruff, Christopher, 2011. "When is capital enough to get female enterprises growing ? evidence from a randomized experiment in Ghana," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5706, The World Bank.
  29. Victor Chernozhukov & Ivan Fernandez-Val & Amanda E. Kowalski, . "Censored Quantile Instrumental Variable Estimation via Control Functions," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series wp2009-012, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  30. Robert T. Jensen & Nolan H. Miller, 2010. "A Revealed Preference Approach to Measuring Hunger and Undernutrition," NBER Working Papers 16555, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Robinson, Jonathan & Dupas, Pascaline, 2009. "Savings Constraints and Microenterprise Development: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Kenya," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt34w0w53t, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  32. Abbi Kedir & Sourafel Girma, 2007. "Quadratic Engel Curves with Measurement Error: Evidence from a Budget Survey," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(1), pages 123-138, 02.
  33. Noor, Jawwad, 2009. "Hyperbolic discounting and the standard model: Eliciting discount functions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(5), pages 2077-2083, September.
  34. Steffen Andersen & Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2008. "Eliciting Risk and Time Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(3), pages 583-618, 05.
  35. Steffen Andersen & Glenn W. Harrison & Morten Lau & Elisabet E. Rutstroem, 2011. "Discounting Behavior: A Reconsideration," Working Papers 2011_01, Durham University Business School.
  36. Lewbel, Arthur, 1996. "Demand Estimation with Expenditure Measurement Errors on the Left and Right Hand Side," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(4), pages 718-25, November.
  37. Moav, Omer & Neeman, Zvika, 2008. "Conspicuous Consumption, Human Capital and Poverty," CEPR Discussion Papers 6864, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  38. 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.
  39. Esther Duflo & Michael Kremer & Jonathan Robinson, 2009. "Nudging Farmers to Use Fertilizer: Theory and Experimental Evidence from Kenya," NBER Working Papers 15131, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. Subramanian, S. & Deaton, A., 1994. "The Demand for Food and Calories," Papers 175, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  41. Brune, Lasse & Gine, Xavier & Goldberg, Jessica & Yang, Dean, 2011. "Commitments to save : a field experiment in rural Malawi," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5748, The World Bank.
  42. Benhabib, Jess & Bisin, Alberto & Schotter, Andrew, 2010. "Present-bias, quasi-hyperbolic discounting, and fixed costs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 205-223, July.
  43. Gharad Bryan & Dean Karlan & Scott Nelson, 2010. "Commitment Devices," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 671-698, 09.
  44. Bauer, Michal & Chytilová, Julie, 2009. "The Impact of Education on the Subjective Discount Rate in Ugandan Villages," IZA Discussion Papers 4057, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Time preference may vary across goods
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2013-02-19 16:53:00
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Abi ADAMS & Laurens CHERCHYE & Bram DE ROCK & Ewout VERRIEST, 2012. "Consume now or later? Time inconsistency, collective choice and revealed preference," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces12.12, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  2. Howard, Gregory, 2013. "Discounting for personal and social payments: Patience for others, impatience for ourselves," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 583-597.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:473. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.