IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aecrev/v101y2011i7p3109-29.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Happiness and Time Preference: The Effect of Positive Affect in a Random-Assignment Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • John Ifcher
  • Homa Zarghamee

Abstract

We conduct a random-assignment experiment to investigate whether positive affect impacts time preference, where time preference denotes a preference for present over future utility. Our result indicates that, compared to neutral affect, mild positive affect significantly reduces time preference over money. This result is robust to various specification checks, and alternative interpretations of the result are considered. Our result has implications for the effect of happiness on time preference and the role of emotions in economic decision making, in general. Finally, we reconfirm the ubiquity of time preference and start to explore its determinants. (JEL D12, D83, I31)

Suggested Citation

  • John Ifcher & Homa Zarghamee, 2011. "Happiness and Time Preference: The Effect of Positive Affect in a Random-Assignment Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3109-3129, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:7:p:3109-29
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.101.7.3109
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/dec2011/20090823_data.zip
    File Function: dataset accompanying article
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Hirshleifer & Tyler Shumway, 2003. "Good Day Sunshine: Stock Returns and the Weather," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(3), pages 1009-1032, June.
    2. Alois Stutzer & Armando N. Meier, 2016. "Limited Self‐control, Obesity, and the Loss of Happiness," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(11), pages 1409-1424, November.
    3. Konow, James & Earley, Joseph, 2008. "The Hedonistic Paradox: Is homo economicus happier," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 1-33, February.
    4. John Ameriks & Andrew Caplin & John Leahy & Tom Tyler, 2007. "Measuring Self-Control Problems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 966-972, June.
    5. Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & Melonie B. Williams, 2002. "Estimating Individual Discount Rates in Denmark: A Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1606-1617, December.
    6. 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, May.
    7. Bucciol, Alessandro & Houser, Daniel & Piovesan, Marco, 2011. "Temptation and productivity: A field experiment with children," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 126-136, April.
    8. repec:hrv:hksfac:37093805 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
    10. 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.
    11. Dekel, Eddie & Lipman, Barton L & Rustichini, Aldo, 2001. "Representing Preferences with a Unique Subjective State Space," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 891-934, July.
    12. Daniel J. Benjamin & Sebastian A. Brown & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2013. "Who Is ‘Behavioral’? Cognitive Ability And Anomalous Preferences," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(6), pages 1231-1255, December.
    13. Saul Pleeter & John T. Warner, 2001. "The Personal Discount Rate: Evidence from Military Downsizing Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 33-53, March.
    14. 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.
    15. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-474, June.
    16. Benhabib, Jess & Bisin, Alberto, 2005. "Modeling internal commitment mechanisms and self-control: A neuroeconomics approach to consumption-saving decisions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 460-492, August.
    17. George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 1992. "Anomalies in Intertemporal Choice: Evidence and an Interpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 573-597.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Benhabib, Jess & Bisin, Alberto & Schotter, Andrew, 2010. "Present-bias, quasi-hyperbolic discounting, and fixed costs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 205-223, July.
    2. Marieka M. Klawitter & C. Leigh Anderson & Mary Kay Gugerty, 2013. "Savings And Personal Discount Rates In A Matched Savings Program For Low-Income Families," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(3), pages 468-485, July.
    3. Bisin, Alberto & Hyndman, Kyle, 2020. "Present-bias, procrastination and deadlines in a field experiment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 339-357.
    4. Lucks, Konstantin, 2016. "The Impact of Self-Control on Investment Decisions," MPRA Paper 73099, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Shi Yingnan & Xinghao Li, 2017. "The Time Preference of Chinese Tend to be Less Affected by Positive Emotions: As Proved by an Experimental Study," Journal of Economics and Behavioral Studies, AMH International, vol. 9(4), pages 201-216.
    6. Manzini, Paola & Mariotti, Marco, 2007. "Choice Over Time," IZA Discussion Papers 2993, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Takeuchi, Kan, 2011. "Non-parametric test of time consistency: Present bias and future bias," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 456-478, March.
    8. Therese Grijalva & Jayson Lusk & W. Shaw, 2014. "Discounting the Distant Future: An Experimental Investigation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 59(1), pages 39-63, September.
    9. Andrew Meyer, 2013. "Estimating discount factors for public and private goods and testing competing discounting hypotheses," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 133-173, April.
    10. Michael A. Kuhn & Peter Kuhn & Marie Claire Villeval, 2013. "The Importance of the Cognitive Environment for Intertemporal Choice," Working Papers 1316, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    11. C. Leigh ANDERSON & Mary Kay GUGERTY, 2009. "Intertemporal Choice And Development Policy: New Evidence On Time‐Varying Discount Rates From Vietnam And Russia," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 47(2), pages 123-146, June.
    12. Wong, Wei-Kang, 2008. "How much time-inconsistency is there and does it matter? Evidence on self-awareness, size, and effects," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(3-4), pages 645-656, December.
    13. Emre Ozdenoren & Stephen W. Salant & Dan Silverman, 2012. "Willpower And The Optimal Control Of Visceral Urges," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 342-368, April.
    14. Cairns, John, 2006. "Developments in discounting: With special reference to future health events," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 282-297, August.
    15. Lloyd-Smith, Patrick & Adamowicz, Wiktor & Entem, Alicia & Fenichel, Eli P. & Rouhi Rad, Mani, 2021. "The decade after tomorrow: Estimation of discount rates from realistic temporal decisions over long time horizons," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 158-174.
    16. Andersen, Steffen & Harrison, Glenn W. & Lau, Morten I. & Rutström, E. Elisabet, 2014. "Discounting behavior: A reconsideration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 15-33.
    17. Blavatskyy, Pavlo, 2019. "Future plans and errors," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 85-92.
    18. Mark Schneider, 2016. "Dual Process Utility Theory: A Model of Decisions Under Risk and Over Time," Working Papers 16-23, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    19. Robin Chark & Soo Chew & Songfa Zhong, 2015. "Extended present bias: a direct experimental test," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 79(1), pages 151-165, July.
    20. Blavatskyy, Pavlo R., 2017. "Probabilistic intertemporal choice," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 142-148.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists, Wikipedia, or ReplicationWiki pages:
    1. Happiness and Time Preference: The Effect of Positive Affect in a Random-Assignment Experiment (AER 2011) in ReplicationWiki

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:7:p:3109-29. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael P. Albert). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.