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Violations of Present-Value Maximization in Income Choice

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  • GARY GIGLIOTTI
  • BARRY SOPHER

Abstract

We report results of an experiment testing for present-value maximization in intertemporal income choice. Two-thirds of subjects did not maximize present value. Through a series of experimental manipulations that impose costs on non-present value maximizers, we are able to reduce the level of violations substantially. We find, however, that a sizebable proportion of subjects continue to systematically violate present value principles. Our interpretation is that these subjects either cannot or chose not to distinguish between income and expenditure in making their choices. Self-management, bounded rationality, and sequence preference are suggested as possible explanations for such behavior.
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Suggested Citation

  • Gary Gigliotti & Barry Sopher, 1997. "Violations of Present-Value Maximization in Income Choice," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 45-69, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:theord:v:43:y:1997:i:1:p:45-69
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1004950613488
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Loewenstein, George F & Sicherman, Nachum, 1991. "Do Workers Prefer Increasing Wage Profiles?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 67-84, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Vivian Lei & Charles N. Noussair, 2002. "An Experimental Test of an Optimal Growth Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(3), pages 549-570, June.
    2. Ali al-Nowaihi & Sanjit Dhami, 2018. "Foundations for Intertemporal Choice," CESifo Working Paper Series 6913, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2007. "Choice over Time," Working Papers 605, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    4. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2007. "Choice over Time," Working Papers 605, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    5. Sean Duffy & John Smith, 2013. "Preference for increasing wages: How do people value various streams of income?," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 8(1), pages 74-90, January.
    6. Duffy, Sean & Smith, John & Woods, Kristin, 2015. "How does the preference for increasing payments depend on the size and source of the payments?," MPRA Paper 64212, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti & Luigi Mittone, 2010. "Choosing monetary sequences: theory and experimental evidence," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 69(3), pages 327-354, September.
    8. John Smith, 2009. "Imperfect Memory and the Preference for Increasing Payments," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 165(4), pages 684-700, December.
    9. Duxbury, Darren & Summers, Barbara & Hudson, Robert & Keasey, Kevin, 2013. "How people evaluate defined contribution, annuity-based pension arrangements: A behavioral exploration," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 256-269.
    10. Smith, John, 2009. "Cognitive dissonance and the overtaking anomaly: Psychology in the principal-agent relationship," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 684-690, August.
    11. Vital Anderhub & Werner Gäuth & Wieland Mäuller & Martin Strobel, 2000. "An Experimental Analysis of Intertemporal Allocation Behavior," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 3(2), pages 137-152, October.
    12. John Smith, 2007. "Cognitive Dissonance, Imperfect Memory and the Preference for Increasing Payments," Departmental Working Papers 200705, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intertemporal choice; present value; self management; bounded rationality; sequence preference;

    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

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