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Intertemporal choice under timing risk: An experimental approach


  • Selçuk Onay


  • Ayse Öncüler



This paper investigates how individuals evaluate delayed outcomes with risky realization times. Under the discounted expected utility (DEU) model, such evaluations depend only on intertemporal preferences. We obtain several testable hypotheses using the DEU model as a benchmark and test these hypotheses in three experiments. In general, our results show that the DEU model is a poor predictor of intertemporal choice behavior under timing risk. We found that individuals are averse to timing risk and that they evaluate timing lotteries in a rank-dependent fashion. The main driver of timing risk aversion is nothing but probabilistic risk aversion that stems from the nonlinear treatment of probabilities. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Selçuk Onay & Ayse Öncüler, 2007. "Intertemporal choice under timing risk: An experimental approach," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 99-121, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:34:y:2007:i:2:p:99-121
    DOI: 10.1007/s11166-007-9005-x

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Breuer, Wolfgang & Soypak, K. Can, 2015. "Framing effects in intertemporal choice tasks and financial implications," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 152-167.
    2. Rohde, Kirsten I.M., 2009. "Decreasing relative impatience," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 831-839, December.
    3. Thomas Epper & Helga Fehr-Duda & Adrian Bruhin, 2011. "Viewing the future through a warped lens: Why uncertainty generates hyperbolic discounting," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 169-203, December.
    4. Kirsten Rohde, 2010. "The hyperbolic factor: A measure of time inconsistency," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 125-140, October.
    5. Gerber, Anke & Rohde, Kirsten I.M., 2010. "Risk and preference reversals in intertemporal choice," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 654-668, December.
    6. Keith Coble & Jayson Lusk, 2010. "At the nexus of risk and time preferences: An experimental investigation," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 67-79, August.
    7. Hermann, Daniel & Mußhoff, Oliver & Rüther, Dörte, 2015. "Measuring farmers' time preference: A comparison of methods," DARE Discussion Papers 1506, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (DARE).
    8. Anke Gerbe & Kirsten I.M. Rohde, 2010. "Risk and Preference Reversals in Intertemporal Choice," Post-Print hal-00911832, HAL.
    9. Galizzi, Matteo M. & Miraldo, Marisa & Stavropoulou, Charitini & van der Pol, Marjon, 2016. "Doctor–patient differences in risk and time preferences: A field experiment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 171-182.
    10. Bleichrodt, Han & Rohde, Kirsten I.M. & Wakker, Peter P., 2009. "Non-hyperbolic time inconsistency," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 27-38, May.

    More about this item


    Intertemporal choice; Timing risk; Non-expected utility; C91; D81; D91;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making


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