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Time Preference and Its Relationship with Age, Health, and Survival Probability

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Author Info

  • Li-Wei Chao

    ()
    (Population Studies Department, University of Pennsylvania)

  • Helena Szrek

    ()
    (CETE, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto)

  • Nuno Sousa Pereira

    ()
    (CETE, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto)

  • Mark V. Pauly

    ()
    (Health Care Systems Department, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

Although theories from economics and evolutionary biology predict that one’s age, health, and survival probability should be associated with one’s subjective discount rate (SDR), few studies have empirically tested for these links. Our study analyzes in detail how the SDR is related to age, health, and survival probability, by surveying a sample of individuals in townships around Durban, South Africa. In contrast to previous studies, we find that age is not significantly related to the SDR, but both physical health and survival expectations have a U-shaped relationship with the SDR. Individuals in very poor health have high discount rates, and those in very good health also have high discount rates. Similarly, those with expected survival probability on the extremes have high discount rates. Therefore, health and survival probability, and not age, seem to be predictors of one’s SDR in an area of the world with high morbidity and mortality.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto in its series CEF.UP Working Papers with number 0706.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: May 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:por:cetedp:0706

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Keywords: subjective discount rate; delay discounting; expected survival probability; health; age; South Africa;

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Cited by:
  1. Richards, Timothy J. & Hamilton, Stephen F. & Pofahl, Geoffrey M., 2010. "Obesity And Hyperbolic Discounting: An Experimental Analysis," 115th Joint EAAE/AAEA Seminar, September 15-17, 2010, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany 116410, European Association of Agricultural Economists & Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  2. Dahal, Arati & Fertig, Angela, 2013. "An econometric assessment of the effect of mental illness on household spending behavior," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 18-33.
  3. Wei-Bin Zhang, 2013. "Habit Formation and Preference Change with Capital and Renewable Resources," Business Systems Research, Society for Promotion of Business Information Technology (BIT), vol. 4(2), pages 108-125.
  4. Alex Krumer & Tal Shavit & Mosi Rosenboim, 2011. "Why do professional athletes have different time preferences than non-athletes?," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 6(6), pages 542-551, August.
  5. Tsusaka, Takuji W. & Kajisa, Kei & Pede, Valerien O. & Aoyagi, Keitaro, 2012. "Neighborhood Effects on Social Behavior: The Case of Irrigated and Rainfed Farmers in Bohol, the Philippines," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124789, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  6. Lawless, Lydia J.R. & Nayga, Rodolfo & Drichoutis, Andreas, 2013. "Time preference and health behaviour: A review," MPRA Paper 45382, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Tsusaka, Takuji W. & Kajisa, Kei & Pede, Valerien O. & Aoyagi, Keitaro, 2013. "Neighbourhood effects and social behaviour: the case of irrigated and rainfed farmeres in Bohol, the Philippines," MPRA Paper 50162, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Almlund, Mathilde & Duckworth, Angela Lee & Heckman, James J. & Kautz, Tim, 2011. "Personality Psychology and Economics," IZA Discussion Papers 5500, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Beraldo, Sergio & Caruso, Raul & Turati, Gilberto, 2013. "Life is now! Time preferences and crime: Aggregate evidence from the Italian regions," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 73-81.
  10. Frank Sloan & Alyssa Platt, 2011. "Information, risk perceptions, and smoking choices of youth," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 161-193, April.
  11. Wei-Bin Zhang, 2013. "Dynamic Interactions among Growth, Environmental Change, Habit Formation, and Preference Change," The International Journal of Economic Behavior - IJEB, Faculty of Business and Administration, University of Bucharest, vol. 3(1), pages 3-25, December.
  12. Wei-Bin ZHANG, 2012. "Habits, Saving Propensity, And Economic Growth," Scientific Bulletin - Economic Sciences, University of Pitesti, vol. 11(2), pages 3-15.

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