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Time discounting for primary and monetary rewards

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  • Reuben, Ernesto
  • Sapienza, Paola
  • Zingales, Luigi

Abstract

This paper shows that there is a positive and statistically significant correlation between the short-term discount rate over a monetary reward and the short-term discount rate over a primary reward (chocolate). This correlation, however, is absent among subjects who do not like chocolate and are not hungry. This suggests that monetary rewards are suitable for the study of intertemporal choice. In fact, given the problems associated with the use of primary rewards (differing tastes for the good, hunger, and possible satiation), we argue that measurement with monetary rewards is more reliable.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 10650.

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Date of creation: Jul 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:10650

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Keywords: time preferences; hyperbolic discounting; intertemporal choice;

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References

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  1. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  2. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David, 2006. "A Dual-Self Model of Impulse Control," Scholarly Articles 3196335, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2004. "Saving or Retirement on the Path of Least Resistance," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000606, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. Christopher Harris & David Laibson, 1999. "Dynamic Choices of Hyperbolic Consumers," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1886, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. Besharov, Gregory & Coffey, Bentley, 2003. "Reconsidering the Experimental Evidence for Quasi-Hyperbolic Discounting," Working Papers 03-03, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  6. 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.
  7. Karp, Larry, 2004. "Global Warming and Hyperbolic Discounting," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt5zh730nc, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  8. Robin Cubitt & Daniel Read, 2007. "Can intertemporal choice experiments elicit time preferences for consumption?," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 369-389, December.
  9. Carroll, Gabriel D. & Choi, James J. & Laibson, David I. & Madrian, Brigitte & Metrick, Andrew, 2009. "Optimal Defaults and Active Decisions," Scholarly Articles 4686776, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Reuben, Ernesto & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2008. "Procrastination and Impatience," CEPR Discussion Papers 6668, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Laibson, David, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
  12. Thaler, Richard, 1981. "Some empirical evidence on dynamic inconsistency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 201-207.
  13. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2004. "Addiction and Cue-Triggered Decision Processes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1558-1590, December.
  14. Maribeth Coller & Melonie Williams, 1999. "Eliciting Individual Discount Rates," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 107-127, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ubfal, Diego, 2012. "How General Are Time Preferences? Eliciting Good-Specific Discount Rates," IZA Discussion Papers 6774, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. James Andreoni & Charles Sprenger, 2012. "Estimating Time Preferences from Convex Budgets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3333-56, December.
  3. C. Giannetti, 2014. "Time Preference Instability, Financial and Working Status," Working Papers wp924, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  4. Yang, Xiaojun & Carlsson, Fredrik, 2012. "Intra-household decisions making on intertemporal choices: An experimental study in rural China," Working Papers in Economics 537, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  5. M. Casari & D. Dragone, 2011. "Impatience, Anticipatory Feelings and Uncertainty: A Dynamic Experiment on Time Preferences," Working Papers wp777, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  6. : Arie E. Gozluklu, 2012. "Pre-Trade Transparency and Informed Trading an Experimental Approach to Hidden Liquidity," Working Papers wpn12-05, Warwick Business School, Finance Group.
  7. Meier, Stephan & Sprenger, Charles, 2009. "Present-Biased Preferences and Credit Card Borrowing," IZA Discussion Papers 4198, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Takeuchi, Kan, 2011. "Non-parametric test of time consistency: Present bias and future bias," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 456-478, March.
  9. Tiezzi, Silvia & Xiao, Erte, 2013. "Time Delay and Support for Taxation," MPRA Paper 51233, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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