Uncertain Lifetime and Intertemporal Choice: Risk Aversion as a Rationale for Time Discounting
AbstractThis paper makes explicit the links between preferences over lotteries on length of life and intertemporal choice. I show that the approach used by traditional life cycle models to account for uncertain survival corresponds to a strong assumption of risk neutrality with respect to the length of life. Relaxing such an assumption leads us to develop a more general formulation of lifetime utility in which time preferences are directly related to preferences over length of life. In particular, it provides an explanation for exponential and hyperbolic discounting which are found to result, in a first approximation, from constant and hyperbolic risk aversion with respect to the length of life.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Toulouse 1 Capitole in its series Open Access publications from University of Toulouse 1 Capitole with number http://neeo.univ-tlse1.fr/1345/.
Date of creation: 2006
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Publication status: Published in International Economic Review (2006) v.47, p.1223-1246
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Web page: http://www.univ-tlse1.fr/
Other versions of this item:
- Antoine Bommier, 2006. "Uncertain Lifetime And Intertemporal Choice: Risk Aversion As A Rationale For Time Discounting," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1223-1246, November.
- Antoine Bommier, 2001. "Uncertain lifetime and intertemporal choice : risk aversion as a rationale for time discounting," Research Unit Working Papers 0108, Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquee, INRA.
- D91 - Microeconomics - - Intertemporal Choice and Growth - - - Intertemporal Consumer Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
- J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income
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