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Intertemporal Substitution and Hyperbolic Discounting

  • Geraats, P.M.

Evidence from behavioural experiments suggests that intertemporal preferences reflect a hyperbolic discount function. This paper shows that in contrast to exponential discounting, the elasticity of intertemporal substitution for hyperbolic consumers depends on the persistence of the change in the intertemporal relative price. In particular, lasting changes in the real interest rate are likely to generate a smaller degree of intertemporal substitution in consumption than temporary changes. This result holds for both sophisticated and naive hyperbolic consumers. It provides a novel testable implication of hyperbolic discounting and a new perspective on intertemporal substitution.

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Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0515.

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Length: 32
Date of creation: Apr 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0515
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  1. David I. Laibson, 1996. "Hyperbolic Discount Functions, Undersaving, and Savings Policy," NBER Working Papers 5635, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Laibson, David, 1998. "Life-cycle consumption and hyperbolic discount functions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 861-871, May.
  3. Uri Benzion & Amnon Rapoport & Joseph Yagil, 1989. "Discount Rates Inferred from Decisions: An Experimental Study," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(3), pages 270-284, March.
  4. Erzo G. J. Luttmer & Thomas Mariotti, 2003. "Subjective Discounting in an Exchange Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(5), pages 959-989, October.
  5. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:1:p:1-55 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Ramsey Meets Laibson in the Neoclassical Growth Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1125-1152.
  7. Casey B. Mulligan, 2002. "Capital, Interest, and Aggregate Intertemporal Substitution," NBER Working Papers 9373, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Harris, Christopher & Laibson, David, 2001. "Dynamic Choices of Hyperbolic Consumers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 935-57, July.
  9. Christopher D. Carroll, 1996. "Buffer-Stock Saving and the Life Cycle/Permanent Income Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 5788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Attanasio, Orazio P & Weber, Guglielmo, 1995. "Is Consumption Growth Consistent with Intertemporal Optimization? Evidence from the Consumer Expenditure Survey," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1121-57, December.
  11. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 339-57, April.
  12. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:2:p:443-77 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. N. Gregory Mankiw & Julio J. Rotemberg & Lawrence H. Summers, 1985. "Intertemporal Substitution in Macroeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(1), pages 225-251.
  14. Keller, L Robin & Strazzera, Elisabetta, 2002. " Examining Predictive Accuracy Among Discounting Models," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 143-60, March.
  15. Christopher Harris & David Laibson, 2006. "Instantaneous Gratification," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000635, UCLA Department of Economics.
  16. repec:oup:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:2:p:443-77 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 1992. "Anomalies in Intertemporal Choice: Evidence and an Interpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 573-597.
  18. Laibson, David I., 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," Scholarly Articles 4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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