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The prevalence of hyperbolic discounting: some European evidence

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  • Joseph Eisenhauer
  • Luigi Ventura

Abstract

Experimental matching data are used from the 2000 Bank of Italy Survey of Household Income and Wealth (SHIW) and the 2000 wave of the Center for Economic Research (CentER) Savings Survey at Tilburg University to compare the relative frequencies of hyperbolic and exponential discounters. Among 3200 Italian respondents and 1400 Dutch respondents, less than a quarter exhibited hyperbolic discounting. This finding is both statistically significant and robust with respect to various assumptions regarding utility; moreover, it holds across a wide variety of economic, social and demographic characteristics. The youngest, poorest, most urban and least educated individuals are the most likely to be hyperbolic discounters. In addition, it is found that hyperbolic discounters accumulate less wealth and are somewhat less likely than exponential discounters to utilize commitment devices to constrain their future choices.

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph Eisenhauer & Luigi Ventura, 2006. "The prevalence of hyperbolic discounting: some European evidence," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(11), pages 1223-1234.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:38:y:2006:i:11:p:1223-1234
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840500392391
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    Cited by:

    1. Gibbons, Brian & Paxton, Julia, 2015. "Youth and inexperience: Dynamic inconsistency among emerging adults," Economics Discussion Papers 2015-19, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    2. Shinsuke Ikeda & Myong-Il Kang, 2015. "Hyperbolic Discounting, Borrowing Aversion and Debt Holding," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 66(4), pages 421-446, December.
    3. Wozny Lukasz & Growiec Jakub, 2012. "Intergenerational Interactions in Human Capital Accumulation," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-47, June.
    4. repec:eee:jeborg:v:148:y:2018:i:c:p:199-225 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Bernergård, Axel, 2011. "Folk Theorems for Present-Biased Players," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 736, Stockholm School of Economics.
    6. C. Leigh ANDERSON & Mary Kay GUGERTY, 2009. "Intertemporal Choice And Development Policy: New Evidence On Time-Varying Discount Rates From Vietnam And Russia," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 47(2), pages 123-146.
    7. Thomas Demuynck, 2009. "Absolute and Relative Time-Consistent Revealed Preferences," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 66(3), pages 283-299, March.
    8. Victor Stango & Joanne Yoong & Jonathan Zinman, 2017. "The Quest for Parsimony in Behavioral Economics: New Methods and Evidence on Three Fronts," NBER Working Papers 23057, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Łukasz Balbus & Kevin Reffett & Łukasz Woźny, 2015. "Time consistent Markov policies in dynamic economies with quasi-hyperbolic consumers," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 44(1), pages 83-112, February.
    10. Bård Harstad, 2013. "Investment Policy for Time-Inconsistent Discounters," CESifo Working Paper Series 4546, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Lin Zhang, 2013. "Saving and retirement behavior under quasi-hyperbolic discounting," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 109(1), pages 57-71, May.
    12. Nicolas Vieille & Jörgen Weibull, 2009. "Multiple solutions under quasi-exponential discounting," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 39(3), pages 513-526, June.
    13. Gopi Shah Goda & Matthew R. Levy & Colleen Flaherty Manchester & Aaron Sojourner & Joshua Tasoff, 2015. "The Role of Time Preferences and Exponential-Growth Bias in Retirement Savings," NBER Working Papers 21482, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Victor Stango & Joanne Yoong & Jonathan Zinman, 2017. "Quicksand or Bedrock for Behavioral Economics? Assessing Foundational Empirical Questions," NBER Working Papers 23625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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