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Poverty and Time Preference

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  • Leandro Carvalho

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    Abstract

    This paper estimates the time preference of poor households in rural Mexico. It uses data from a program that randomly assigned communities to treatment and control and paid transfers to poor households in treatment communities. The randomization implies that differences in consumption between control and treatment households are due to the program. A buffer-stock model predicts how the response of consumption to transfers depends on the discount factor. It estimates this parameter by matching simulated to sample treatment effects on consumption. The estimates being very low, it concludes that poor households are very impatient or a richer model is needed.

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    File URL: http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/working_papers/2010/RAND_WR759.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by RAND Corporation Publications Department in its series Working Papers with number 759.

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    Length: 41 pages
    Date of creation: May 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:759

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    Keywords: simulation; consumption; time preference; randomized experiment; poverty;

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    References

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    1. Masao Ogaki & Andrew Atkeson, 1997. "Rate Of Time Preference, Intertemporal Elasticity Of Substitution, And Level Of Wealth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 564-572, November.
    2. van de Walle, Dominique, 2000. "Are returns to investment lower for the poor? Human and physical capital interactions in rural Viet Nam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2425, The World Bank.
    3. Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier & Parker, Jonathan A, 2000. "Consumption Over the Life-Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 2345, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Giovanni Mastrobuoni & Matthew Weinberg, 2009. "Heterogeneity in Intra-monthly Consumption Patterns, Self-Control, and Savings at Retirement," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 163-89, August.
    5. Melvin Stephens Jr., 2002. "'3rd of tha Month': Do Social Security Recipients Smooth Consumption Between Checks?," NBER Working Papers 9135, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Skoufias, Emmanuel & Parker, Susan W., 2001. "Conditional cash transfers and their impact on child work and schooling," FCND discussion papers 123, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. David Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 2007. "Estimating Discount Functions with Consumption Choices over the Lifecycle," Documentos de Trabajo 236, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
    8. Atkeson, A. & Ogaki, M., 1991. "Wealth-Varying Intertemporal Elasticities of Substitution Evidence from Panel and Aggregate Data," RCER Working Papers 303, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    9. Maribeth Coller & Melonie Williams, 1999. "Eliciting Individual Discount Rates," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 107-127, December.
    10. Manuela Angelucci & Giacomo De Giorgi, 2009. "Indirect Effects of an Aid Program: How Do Cash Transfers Affect Ineligibles' Consumption?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 486-508, March.
    11. Albarran, Pedro & Attanasio, Orazio P., 2002. "Do Public Transfers Crowd Out Private Transfers? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Mexico," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    12. Shapiro, Jesse M., 2005. "Is there a daily discount rate? Evidence from the food stamp nutrition cycle," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 303-325, February.
    13. 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.
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    Cited by:
    1. Borissov, Kirill, 2013. "Growth and distribution in a model with endogenous time preferences and borrowing constraints," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 117-128.

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