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Impatience among Preschool Children and Their Mothers


  • Fabian Kosse
  • Friedhelm Pfeiffer


Using experimental data of children and their mothers, this paper explores the intergenerational relationship of impatience. The child's impatience stems from a delay of gratification experiment. Mother's impatience has been assessed by a choice task where the mothers faced trade-offs between a smaller-sooner and a larger-later monetary reward with a delay of six or twelve months. The findings demonstrate an intergenerational relationship in short-run decision making. Controlling for mother's and child's characteristics the child's impatience at preschool age is significantly correlated with the six month maternal reservation interest rate.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabian Kosse & Friedhelm Pfeiffer, 2012. "Impatience among Preschool Children and Their Mothers," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 431, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp431

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2010. "Are Risk Aversion and Impatience Related to Cognitive Ability?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 1238-1260, June.
    2. Anders Björklund & Mikael Lindahl & Erik Plug, 2006. "The Origins of Intergenerational Associations: Lessons from Swedish Adoption Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(3), pages 999-1028.
    3. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J., 2011. "Recent Developments in Intergenerational Mobility," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    4. Stephan Meier & Charles Sprenger, 2010. "Present-Biased Preferences and Credit Card Borrowing," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 193-210, January.
    5. Tom Krebs, 2003. "Human Capital Risk and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 709-744.
    6. 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.
    7. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J. & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2009. "Like father, like son? A note on the intergenerational transmission of IQ scores," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 138-140, October.
    8. M. Daniele Paserman, 2008. "Job Search and Hyperbolic Discounting: Structural Estimation and Policy Evaluation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(531), pages 1418-1452, August.
    9. Bettinger, Eric & Slonim, Robert, 2007. "Patience among children," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 343-363, February.
    10. Philipp Eisenhauer & Friedhelm Pfeiffer, 2008. "Assessing Intergenerational Earnings Persistence among German Workers," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 134, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    11. Eisenhauer, Philipp & Pfeiffer, Friedhelm, 2008. "Assessing intergenerational earnings persistence among German workers," Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung - Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 41(2/3), pages 119-137.
    12. repec:iab:iabzaf:v:41:i:2/3:p:119-137 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Thiel, Hendrik & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2013. "Noncognitive skills in economics: Models, measurement, and empirical evidence," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 189-214.
    2. Hübler, Philipp, 2017. "Heritability of time preference: Evidence from German twin data," MPRA Paper 77620, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah & Deckers, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Kosse, Fabian, 2014. "How Does Socio-Economic Status Shape a Child's Personality?," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100285, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Fabian Kosse & Thomas Deckers & Hannah Schildberg-Horisch & Armin Falk, 2016. "The Formation of Prosociality: Causal Evidence on the Role of Social Environment," Working Papers 2016-011, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    5. Giuseppe Albanese & Guido de Blasio & Paolo Sestito, 2013. "Trust and preferences: evidence from survey data," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 911, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    6. Philipp Huebler & Andreas Kucher, 2016. "Ashes to ashes, time to time - Parental time discounting and its role in the intergenerational transmission of smoking," Discussion Paper Series 326, Universitaet Augsburg, Institute for Economics.
    7. Blomeyer Dorothea & Laucht Manfred & Coneus Katja & Pfeiffer Friedhelm, 2013. "Early Life Adversity and Children’s Competence Development: Evidence from the Mannheim Study of Children at Risk," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 233(4), pages 467-485, August.
    8. Antrobus, Emma & Baranov, Victoria & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Mazerolle, Lorraine & Tymula, Agnieszka, 2017. "The Risk and Time Preferences of Young Truants and Their Parents," IZA Discussion Papers 11236, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Bügelmayer, Elisabeth & Katharina Spiess, C., 2014. "Spite and cognitive skills in preschoolers," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 154-167.
    10. Jens Mohrenweiser & Friedhelm Pfeiffer, 2016. "Zur Entwicklung der studienspezifischen Selbstwirksamkeit in der Oberstufe
      [The development of study-specific self-efficacy during grammar school]
      ," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 49(1), pages 77-95, July.
    11. Brown, Heather & van der Pol, Marjon, 2015. "Intergenerational transfer of time and risk preferences," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 187-204.
    12. Armin Falk & Fabian Kosse, 2016. "Early Childhood Environment, Breastfeeding and the Formation of Preferences," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 882, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    13. Philipp Huebler, 2017. "Heritability of time preference: Evidence from German twin data," Discussion Paper Series 334, Universitaet Augsburg, Institute for Economics.
    14. Koch, Alexander & Nafziger, Julia & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 2015. "Behavioral economics of education," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 3-17.

    More about this item


    time preferences; impatience; intergenerational transmission; field experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General

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