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Term structure of psychological interest rates: A behavioural test

  • de La Bruslerie, Hubert
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    Many empirical and behavioral studies underline the idea of a non-flat term structure of subjective interest rates with a decreasing slope. Using an empirical test, this paper aims at identifying in individual behaviors whether agents see their psychological value of time decreasing or not. We show that the subjective interest rate follows a negatively sloped term structure. It can be parameterized using two variables, one specifying the instantaneous time preference, the other characterizing the slope of the term structure. A trade-off law called “balancing pressure law” is identified between these two parameters. We show that the term structure of psychological rates depends strongly on gender, but appears not to be linked with life expectancy. We also question the cross relationship between risk aversion and time preference. From a theoretical point of view, these two variables stand as two different and independent dimensions of choice. However, empirically, both time preference attitude and slope seem directly influenced by risk attitude.

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    File URL: http://basepub.dauphine.fr/xmlui/bitstream/123456789/3033/2/term_structure_of.PDF
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    Paper provided by Paris Dauphine University in its series Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine with number 123456789/3033.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:dau:papers:123456789/3033
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    12. Dilip Soman & George Ainslie & Shane Frederick & Xiuping Li & John Lynch & Page Moreau & Andrew Mitchell & Daniel Read & Alan Sawyer & Yaacov Trope & Klaus Wertenbroch & Gal Zauberman, 2005. "The Psychology of Intertemporal Discounting: Why are Distant Events Valued Differently from Proximal Ones?," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 347-360, December.
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    15. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1991. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 263-86, April.
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