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Effects Of Stress On Economic Decision-Making: Evidence From Laboratory Experiments

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  • Delaney, Liam
  • Fink, Günther
  • Harmon, Colm

Abstract

The ways in which preferences respond to the varying stress of economic environments is a key question for behavioral economics and public policy. We conducted a laboratory experiment to investigate the effects of stress on financial decision making among individuals aged 50 and older. Using the cold pressor task as a physiological stressor, and a series of intelligence tests as cognitive stressors, we find that stress increases subjective discounting rates, has no effect on the degree of risk-aversion, and substantially lowers the effort individuals make to learn about financial decisions.

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File URL: http://econ-wpseries.com/2014/201403.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Sydney, School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2014-03.

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Date of creation: Mar 2014
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Handle: RePEc:syd:wpaper:2014-03

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Postal: Sydney, NSW 2006
Phone: 61 +2 9351 5055
Fax: 61 +2 9351 4341
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Web page: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/economics
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Keywords: stress; financial decisions; discounting; risk aversion; learning;

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  1. Krueger, Alan B. & Mueller, Andreas, 2010. "Job search and unemployment insurance: New evidence from time use data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3-4), pages 298-307, April.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Alan B. Krueger & Andreas I. Mueller, 2012. "Time Use, Emotional Well-Being, and Unemployment: Evidence from Longitudinal Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 594-99, May.
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