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Estimating Individual Discount Rates in Denmark: A Field Experiment

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  • Glenn W. Harrison
  • Morten I. Lau
  • Melonie B. Williams

Abstract

We estimate individual discount rates with respect to time streams of money using controlled laboratory experiments. These discount rates are elicited by means of field experiments involving real monetary rewards. The experiments were carried out across Denmark using a representative sample of 268 people between 19 and 75 years of age. Individual discount rates are estimated for various households differentiated by socio-demographic characteristics such as income and age. Our conclusions are that discount rates are constant over the 12-month to 3-year horizons used in these experiments, and that discount rates vary substantially with respect to several socio-demographic variables. Hence we conclude that it would be reasonable to assume constant discount rates for specific household types, but not the same rates across all households.
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Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:92:y:2002:i:5:p:1606-1617
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/000282802762024674
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    References listed on IDEAS

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