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Choosing Monetary Sequences: Theory and Experimental Evidence

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  • Paola Manzini

    ()

  • Marco Mariotti

    ()

  • Luigi Mittone

    ()

Abstract

In this paper we formulate and investigate experimentally a model of how individuals choose between sequences of monetary outcomes spread out in time. The theoretical model assumes that a decision-maker uses, in a sequential way, two criteria to screen options. Each criterion only permits a decision between some pairs of options, while the other options are incomparable according to that criterion When the first criterion is not decisive, the decision maker resorts to the second criterion to select an alternative. This type of decision procedures has encountered the favour of several psychologists, though it is quite under-explored in the economics domain. We find that: 1) traditional economic models based on discounting alone cannot explain a significant (almost 30%) proportion of the data no matter how much variability in discount functions is allowed; 2) our model, despite considering only a specific (exponential) form of discounting, can explain the data much better solely thanks to the use of the secondary criterion; 3) our model explains certain specific patterns in the choices of the 'irrational' people: we can reject the hypothesis that anomalous behaviour is due simply to random 'mistakes' around the basic predictions of discounting theories: the deviations are not random and there are clear systematic patterns of association between 'irrational' choices.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia in its series CEEL Working Papers with number 0601.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:trn:utwpce:0601

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Keywords: Time preference; Time sequences; Negative discounting;

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References

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  1. Rubinstein, Ariel, 2001. "A theorist's view of experiments," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 615-628, May.
  2. Ariel Rubinstein, 2000. "Is It 'Economics and Psychology?' : The Case of Hyperbolic Discounting," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7640, David K. Levine.
  3. Read, Daniel, 2001. " Is Time-Discounting Hyperbolic or Subadditive?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 5-32, July.
  4. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2007. "Choice over Time," Working Papers 605, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  5. Loewenstein, George F & Sicherman, Nachum, 1991. "Do Workers Prefer Increasing Wage Profiles?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 67-84, January.
  6. Chapman, Gretchen B., 1996. "Expectations and Preferences for Sequences of Health and Money," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 59-75, July.
  7. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2004. "Rationalizing Boundedly Rational Choice," Microeconomics 0407005, EconWPA, revised 21 Jul 2005.
  8. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2007. "Sequentially Rationalizable Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1824-1839, December.
  9. 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.
  10. Manzini Paola & Mariotti Marco, 2006. "A Vague Theory of Choice over Time," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-27, October.
  11. Guyse, Jeffery L. & Keller, L. Robin & Eppel, Thomas, 2002. "Valuing Environmental Outcomes: Preferences for Constant or Improving Sequences," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 253-277, March.
  12. Selten, Reinhard, 1991. "Properties of a measure of predictive success," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 153-167, April.
  13. Mohammed Abdellaoui & ArthurE. Attema & Han Bleichrodt, 2010. "Intertemporal Tradeoffs for Gains and Losses: An Experimental Measurement of Discounted Utility," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(545), pages 845-866, 06.
  14. Manzini, Paola & Mariotti, Marco, 2006. "Two-Stage Boundedly Rational Choice Procedures: Theory and Experimental Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2341, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Lowenstein, George & Prelec, Drazen, 1991. "Negative Time Preference," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 347-52, May.
  16. Gary Gigliotti & Barry Sopher, 1997. "Violations of Present-Value Maximization in Income Choice," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 45-69, July.
  17. 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.
  18. Ariel Rubinstein, 2003. ""Economics and Psychology"? The Case of Hyperbolic Discounting," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1207-1216, November.
  19. Loewenstein, George & Prelec, Drazen, 1992. "Anomalies in Intertemporal Choice: Evidence and an Interpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 573-97, May.
  20. 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. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2006. "Two-stage Boundedly Rational Choice Procedures: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 561, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  2. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2007. "Choice over Time," Working Papers 605, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  3. John Smith, 2008. "Imperfect Memory and the Preference for Increasing Payments," Departmental Working Papers 200805, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  4. Duffy, Sean & Smith, John, 2010. "Preference for increasing wages: How do people value various streams of income?," MPRA Paper 23559, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Attema, Arthur E. & Brouwer, Werner B.F., 2012. "A test of independence of discounting from quality of life," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 22-34.

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