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Psychological and Biological Foundations of Time Preference: Evidence from a Day Reconstruction Study with Biological Tracking

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  • Liam Delaney

    (Geary Institute, School of Public Health & Population Science, School of Economics, University College Dublin)

  • Michael Daly

    (School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin)

  • Colm Harmon

    (Geary Institute, School of Economics, University College Dublin, IZA Bonn)

Abstract

This paper considers the relationship between the economic concept of time preference and relevant concepts from psychology and biology. Using novel data from a time diary study conducted in Ireland that combined detailed psychometric testing with medical testing and realtime bio-tracking, we examine the distribution of a number of psychometric measures linked to the economic concept of time preferences and test the extent to which these measures form coherent clusters and the degree to which these clusters are related to underlying biological substrates. The paper finds that financial discounting is related to a range of psychological variables including consideration of future consequences, self-control, conscientiousness, extraversion, and experiential avoidance as well as being predicted by heart rate variability and blood pressure.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/geary/static/publications/workingpapers/gearywp200819.pdf
File Function: First version, 2008
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Geary Institute, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200819.

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Length: 14 pages
Date of creation: 10 Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:200819

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  1. Borghans, Lex & Duckworth, Angela Lee & Heckman, James J. & Weel, Bas ter, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," MERIT Working Papers 010, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  2. Heckman, James J., 2007. "The Economics, Technology and Neuroscience of Human Capability Formation," IZA Discussion Papers 2875, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  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. Becker, Gary S & Mulligan, Casey B, 1997. "The Endogenous Determination of Time Preference," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 729-58, August.
  5. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
  6. Gergana Y. Nenkov & J. Jeffrey Inman & John Hulland, 2008. "Considering the Future: The Conceptualization and Measurement of Elaboration on Potential Outcomes," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 126-141, November.
  7. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger & David Schkade & Norbert Schwarz & Arthur Stone, 2004. "Toward National Well-Being Accounts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 429-434, May.
  8. Colin F. Camerer & George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 2004. "Neuroeconomics: Why Economics Needs Brains," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(3), pages 555-579, October.
  9. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
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Cited by:
  1. Bruderer Enzler, Heidi & Diekmann, Andreas & Meyer, Reto, 2014. "Subjective discount rates in the general population and their predictive power for energy saving behavior," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 524-540.

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