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A Flexible Test for Present Bias and Time Preferences using Land-Lease Contracts

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  • Gautier, Pieter A
  • van Vuuren, Aico

Abstract

When agents have present bias, they discount more between now and the next period than between period t (> 1) and t + 1. How fast the future discount rate (evaluated today) decays is an empirical question. We show that the discount function can be non-parametrically identified with contracts that specify payments that take place at various points in time in the future and which are traded and priced in a competitive market. We use a unique land lease-contract data set for Amsterdam, which has the above properties, to test for present bias in a flexible way. We find no evidence for present bias in this market. Even though we allow for a general-hyperbolic specification (which has exponential discounting as a special case), our estimates converge to an exponential discount function with a corresponding discount rate (in our baseline specification) of 8%.

Suggested Citation

  • Gautier, Pieter A & van Vuuren, Aico, 2011. "A Flexible Test for Present Bias and Time Preferences using Land-Lease Contracts," CEPR Discussion Papers 8512, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8512
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hanming Fang & Yang Wang, 2015. "Estimating Dynamic Discrete Choice Models With Hyperbolic Discounting, With An Application To Mammography Decisions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 56, pages 565-596, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bracke, Philippe & Pinchbeck, Ted & Wyatt, James, 2014. "The time value of housing: historical evidence from London residential leases," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 64504, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    discount rate; hedonic estimation; hyperbolic discounting; present bias;

    JEL classification:

    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis

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