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Is it 'Economics and Psychology'?: The Case of Hyperbolic Discounting

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  • Ariel Rubinstein

Abstract

The paper questions the methodology of "economics and psychology". It focuses on the case of hyperbolic discounting. Using some experimental results, I argue that the same sort of evidence which rejects the standard constant discount utility functions can just as easily reject hyperbolic discounting as well. Futhermore, a decision-making procedure based on similarity relation better explains the observations and is more intuitive. The paper concludes that combining "economics and psychology" requires opening the black box of decision-makers rather than modifying funcional forms.
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Suggested Citation

  • Ariel Rubinstein, 2010. "Is it 'Economics and Psychology'?: The Case of Hyperbolic Discounting," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 625018000000000219, www.najecon.org.
  • Handle: RePEc:cla:najeco:625018000000000219
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    Cited by:

    1. Lagunoff, Roger, 2006. "Credible communication in dynastic government," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 59-86, January.
    2. Efe A Ok & Yusufcan Masatlioglu, 2003. "A General Theory of Time Preferences," Levine's Bibliography 234936000000000089, UCLA Department of Economics.
    3. Carrillo, Juan D & Dewatripont, Mathias, 2001. "Promises, Promises…," CEPR Discussion Papers 2680, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. 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.
    5. Manzini Paola & Mariotti Marco, 2006. "A Vague Theory of Choice over Time," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-27, October.
    6. Manzini, Paola & Mariotti, Marco, 2006. "Two-Stage Boundedly Rational Choice Procedures: Theory and Experimental Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2341, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Paola Manzini, 2001. "Time preferences: do they matter in bargaining?," Experimental 0106001, EconWPA.
    8. Schilizzi, Steven, 2003. "Deciding with long-term environmental impacts: what role for discounting?," 2003 Conference (47th), February 12-14, 2003, Fremantle, Australia 58206, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    9. Rubinstein, Ariel, 2001. "A theorist's view of experiments," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 615-628, May.
    10. Samuelson,L. & Swinkels,J.M., 2001. "Information and the evolution of the utility function," Working papers 6, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    11. Y. Biondi, 2011. "Cost of capital, discounting and relational contracting: endogenous optimal return and duration for joint investment projects," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(30), pages 4847-4864.

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    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General

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