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Income groups and long term investment

  • Burak Can

    ()

    (Maastricht University)

  • Orhan Erdem

    ()

    (Borsa Istanbul)

Laibson (1997) suggests the present bias problem as one of the driving forces of excessive borrowing. Shefrin and Thaler (1988) suggest that self-control underlies national borrowing/savings rate. We conduct a survey with 65 people between the ages of 21 and 56 to check for present bias as well as self-control problems among individuals in Turkey using a quasi-hyperbolic discounting model. Our findings show that different income groups have similar discount factors, i.e., impatience levels, but very different degrees of dynamic inconsistencies, i.e. present bias levels. In particular, 32.2% of low-income individuals exhibit present bias whereas this is down to 5.9% for high-income individuals. This result does not depend on a particular assumption of a utility function. Using the parameters we elicit through the surveys, policymakers can design appropriate commitment devices for time-inconsistent individuals to ensure a sustainable level of aggregate saving and financial investment.

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File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/Pubs/EB/2013/Volume33/EB-13-V33-I4-P281.pdf
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Article provided by AccessEcon in its journal Economics Bulletin.

Volume (Year): 33 (2013)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 3014-3022

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Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-13-00636
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  1. 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.
  2. Arthur E. Attema & Han Bleichrodt & Kirsten I. M. Rohde & Peter P. Wakker, 2010. "Time-Tradeoff Sequences for Analyzing Discounting and Time Inconsistency," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(11), pages 2015-2030, November.
  3. Shefrin, Hersh M & Thaler, Richard H, 1988. "The Behavioral Life-Cycle Hypothesis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 609-43, October.
  4. Matthew Rabin & Ted O'Donoghue, 1999. "Doing It Now or Later," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 103-124, March.
  5. Meier, Stephan & Sprenger, Charles, 2009. "Present-Biased Preferences and Credit Card Borrowing," IZA Discussion Papers 4198, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Kirsten Rohde, 2010. "The hyperbolic factor: A measure of time inconsistency," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 125-140, October.
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