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Tat will tell: Tattoos and time preferences

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  • Ruffle, Bradley J.
  • Wilson, Anne E.

Abstract

Survey and experimental evidence documents discrimination against tattooed individuals in the labor market and in commercial transactions. Thus, individuals’ decision to get tattooed may reflect short-sighted time preferences. We show that, according to numerous measures, those with tattoos, especially visible ones, are more short-sighted and impulsive than the non-tattooed. Almost nothing mitigates these results, neither the motive for the tattoo, the time contemplated before getting tattooed nor the time elapsed since the last tattoo. Even the expressed intention to get a(nother) tattoo predicts increased short-sightedness and helps establish the direction of causality between tattoos and short-sightedness.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruffle, Bradley J. & Wilson, Anne E., 2019. "Tat will tell: Tattoos and time preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 566-585.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:166:y:2019:i:c:p:566-585
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2019.08.001
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    1. Ruffle, Bradley J. & Wilson, Anne E., 2018. "The truth about tattoos," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 143-147.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Experimental economics; Tattoo; Time preferences; Impulsivity;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

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