Construction of time preference: an investigation of the role of elicitation method in experimental elicitation of time preference
AbstractThe idea of preference reversal and construction of preference is not new to literature in decision making. Indeed, several theories have been developed to explain it. (Lichtenstein and Slovic, 2006). The present paper considers heuristics activated in different elicitation procedures applied in time preference research. I show that activation of these rules in correspondence with different elicitation methods leads to observation of a particular pattern most frequently reported in time preference literature: hyperbolic discounting. In particular, I analyze two most diffused elicitation procedures, matching task and two variations of choice task in multiple price list format (MPL). In a series of experiments I demonstrate that matching task is characterized by choice of focal amounts and anchoring to previously reported amount. At the same time, choice in MPL format largely depends on the structure of the list from which the choice is made. I study two widely used structures of MPL choice task format: (a) MPL with nominal structure (Green et al, 1997), where choice alternatives correspond to the same nominal amounts that are available at different time horizons; (b) MPL with interest rate structure (Coller and Williams, 1999), in which monetary alternatives at each time horizon in consideration are constructed as increases corresponding to a fixed interest rate. Although these two elicitation structures activate similar decision processes they lead to observation of qualitatively different results that are in large part defined by the underlying structure of the list of alternatives. I show that matching task and MPL with nominal structure lead to observation of hyperbolic evidence, that could be of different kinds depending on the structure of MPL table. At the same time, elicitation with MPL with interest rate structure leads to observation of rather stable time preference that can be well approximated by exponential discounting.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Computer and Management Sciences, University of Trento, Italy in its series DISA Working Papers with number 0808.
Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2008
Date of revision: 11 Nov 2008
Postal: DISA Università degli Studi di Trento via Inama, 5 I-38122 Trento TN Italy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Laibson, David, 1997.
"Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
- Anabela Botelho & Glenn W. Harrison & Lígia Pinto & Elisabet E. Rutstrom & Paula Veiga, 2005. "Discounting in developing countries: a pilot experiment in Timor-Leste," NIMA Working Papers 31, Núcleo de Investigação em Microeconomia Aplicada (NIMA), Universidade do Minho.
- Pender, John L., 1996. "Discount rates and credit markets: Theory and evidence from rural india," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 257-296, August.
- Tomomi Tanaka & Colin F. Camerer & Quang Nguyen, 2010. "Risk and Time Preferences: Linking Experimental and Household Survey Data from Vietnam," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 557-71, March.
- Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti & Luigi Mittone, 2008. "The elicitation of time preferences," CEEL Working Papers 0806, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
- Slonim, Robert & Carlson, James & Bettinger, Eric, 2007. "Possession and discounting behavior," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 97(3), pages 215-221, December.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roberto Gabriele).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.