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Can intertemporal choice experiments elicit time preferences for consumption?

  • Robin Cubitt

    ()

    (School of Economics, University of Nottingham)

  • Daniel Read

    ()

    (Durham Business School, University of Durham)

The paper considers the problems of interpreting subjects’ responses to laboratory intertemporal choice and matching tasks that arise from (i) the existence of capital markets outside the laboratory; (ii) the distinction between observable income and unobservable consumption. It distinguishes between three approaches to these problems that are identifiable in the literature: the straightforward view; the separation view; and the censored data view. It shows that none of these is fully satisfactory and discusses the resulting implications for intertemporal decision-making experiments.

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Paper provided by The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham in its series Discussion Papers with number 2005-16.

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Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cdx:dpaper:2005-16
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  1. Robert Sugden, 2004. "The Opportunity Criterion: Consumer Sovereignty Without the Assumption of Coherent Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1014-1033, September.
  2. Tversky, Amos & Slovic, Paul & Kahneman, Daniel, 1990. "The Causes of Preference Reversal," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 204-17, March.
  3. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
  4. Glenn W. Harrison & Ronald M. Harstad & E. Elisabet Rutstr–m, 2004. "Experimental Methods and Elicitation of Values," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 123-140, 06.
  5. Pender, John L., 1996. "Discount rates and credit markets: Theory and evidence from rural india," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 257-296, August.
  6. Maribeth Coller & Melonie Williams, 1999. "Eliciting Individual Discount Rates," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 107-127, December.
  7. Thaler, Richard, 1981. "Some empirical evidence on dynamic inconsistency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 201-207.
  8. Elisabet Rutstrom & Glenn Harrison & Melonie Williams & Morten Lau, 2005. "Eliciting risk and time preferences using field experiments: Some methodological issues," Artefactual Field Experiments 00063, The Field Experiments Website.
  9. Harrison, Glenn W, 1992. "Theory and Misbehavior of First-Price Auctions: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1426-43, December.
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