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On Depth and Retrospect: “I Forget, and Forgive – but I Discount”

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  • Ana Paula Martins

Abstract

The discounting of future felicity flows transposes to the inter-temporal optimisation context the assumption of interest-bearing wealth or savings. The validity of the hypothesis has been challenged by several empirical (ir)regularities and by the theoretical implications for human decision processing. In this article, we explore the modifications induced by generalising the typical welfare function in order to accommodate such retrospective influences. The idea is simple – and can be thought inspired in felicity functions encompassing habit formation: to allow for accumulated welfare – of hypothetically “compounded” but also depreciating past-to-current felicity streams – to affect the periodic utility function – which therefore enjoy some durable good properties. Sensitivity of the Ramsey optimal path to the new formulation is also inspected.

Suggested Citation

  • Ana Paula Martins, 2012. "On Depth and Retrospect: “I Forget, and Forgive – but I Discount”," Journal of Economics and Econometrics, Economics and Econometrics Society, vol. 55(3), pages 1-45.
  • Handle: RePEc:eei:journl:v:55:y:2012:i:3:p:1-45
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    Cited by:

    1. Ana Paula Martins, 2010. "Splitting Games: Nash Equilibrium and the Optimisation Problem," Journal of Economics and Econometrics, Economics and Econometrics Society, vol. 53(1), pages 1-28.
    2. William H. Greene & Ana P. Martins, 2002. "Striking Features of the Labor Market," EERI Research Paper Series EERI RP 2002/08, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
    3. William H. Greene & Ana P. Martins, 2013. "Striking Features of the Labor Market: Empirical Evidence," Journal of Economics and Econometrics, Economics and Econometrics Society, vol. 56(2), pages 25-53.
    4. William H. Greene & Ana P. Martins, 2013. "Striking Features of the Labor Market: Theory," Journal of Economics and Econometrics, Economics and Econometrics Society, vol. 56(2), pages 1-24.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Time discount; time preference; interest; retrospect theory; durable goods.;

    JEL classification:

    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General
    • E40 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - General
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • G00 - Financial Economics - - General - - - General
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure

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