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Toward an understanding of the development of time preferences: Evidence from field experiments

Author

Listed:
  • Andreoni, James
  • Kuhn, Michael A.
  • List, John A.
  • Samek, Anya
  • Sokal, Kevin
  • Sprenger, Charles

Abstract

Time preferences have been correlated with a range of life outcomes, yet little is known about their early development. We conduct a field experiment to elicit time preferences of over 1200 children ages 3–12, who make several intertemporal decisions. To shed light on how such primitives form, we explore various channels that might affect time preferences, from background characteristics to the causal impact of an early schooling program that we developed and operated. Our results suggest that time preferences evolve substantially during this period, with younger children displaying more impatience than older children. We also find a strong association with race: black children, relative to white or Hispanic children, are more impatient. Finally, assignment to different schooling opportunities is not significantly associated with child time preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreoni, James & Kuhn, Michael A. & List, John A. & Samek, Anya & Sokal, Kevin & Sprenger, Charles, 2019. "Toward an understanding of the development of time preferences: Evidence from field experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 1-1.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:177:y:2019:i:c:10
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2019.06.007
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Toward an Understanding of the Development of Time Preferences: Evidence from Field Experiments
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2019-03-27 14:32:20

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    2. Andreoni, James & Di Girolamo, Amalia & List, John A. & Mackevicius, Claire & Samek, Anya, 2020. "Risk preferences of children and adolescents in relation to gender, cognitive skills, soft skills, and executive functions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 729-742.
    3. Brenøe, Anne Ardila & Epper, Thomas, 2019. "Parenting Values Moderate the Intergenerational Transmission of Time Preferences," Economics Working Paper Series 1917, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    4. Lukas Kiessling & Shyamal Chowdhury & Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch & Matthias Sutter, 2021. "Parental Paternalism and Patience," CESifo Working Paper Series 8829, CESifo.
    5. Marco Castillo & John A. List & Ragan Petrie & Anya Samek, 2020. "Detecting Drivers of Behavior at an Early Age: Evidence from a Longitudinal Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 28288, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Lukas Kiessling & Shyamal Chowdhury & Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch & Matthias Sutter, 2021. "Parental Paternalism and Patience," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2021_03, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    7. Yamamura, Eiji & Kang, Myong-Il & Ikeda, Shinsuke, 2020. "Effect of female elementary-school homeroom teachers on time preferences in adulthood," MPRA Paper 99860, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Charness, Gary & List, John A. & Rustichini, Aldo & Samek, Anya & Van De Ven, Jeroen, 2019. "Theory of mind among disadvantaged children: Evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 174-194.
    9. Samek, Anya & Gray, Andre & Datar, Ashlesha & Nicosia, Nancy, 2021. "Adolescent time and risk preferences: Measurement, determinants and field consequences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 184(C), pages 460-488.
    10. Yokoo, Hide-Fumi, 2020. "Ethics of randomized field experiments: Evidence from a randomized survey experiment," Discussion Papers 2020-07, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Time preferences; Child behavior; Experiment; Inter-generational transmission;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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