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Does money illusion matter in intertemporal decision making?

Author

Listed:
  • Yamamori, Tetsuo
  • Iwata, Kazuyuki
  • Ogawa, Akira

Abstract

To examine the degree to which price fluctuations affect how individuals approach an intertemporal decision-making problem, we conduct a laboratory experiment in which subjects spend their savings to purchase only one commodity over 20 periods. In the control treatment, the commodity price is constant across all periods. In the small (large) price-fluctuation treatment, the price rate of change is always 1% (20%). Regardless of the treatment, the commodity price and subjects’ savings change at the same rate over time. Therefore, the optimal amount of consumption is the same in all three treatments. Our main findings are twofold. First, the magnitude of misconsumption (i.e., the deviation from optimal consumption) is significantly high, with the large price-fluctuation treatment being the highest, followed by the small price-fluctuation treatment and then the control treatment. Second, regardless of the presence of price fluctuations, subjects exhibit underconsumption (oversaving) behavior, and price fluctuations strengthen this tendency.

Suggested Citation

  • Yamamori, Tetsuo & Iwata, Kazuyuki & Ogawa, Akira, 2018. "Does money illusion matter in intertemporal decision making?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 465-473.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:145:y:2018:i:c:p:465-473
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2017.11.019
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intertemporal decision making; Money illusion; Price fluctuations; Economic experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

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