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Time Discounting: The Delay Effect and Procrastinating Behavior

  • Shunichiro Sasaki
  • Shiyu Xie
  • Shinsuke IkedaAuthor-Name:
  • Jie Qin
  • Yoshiro Tsutsui

The delay effect, that people discount the near future more than the distant future, has not been verified rigorously. An experiment conducted by us in China confirms that, by separating the delay from the interval, the delay effect exists only within a short delay. The results are reliable, because the rewards paid were very large, in order to elicit the subjects' true preferences. The interval and magnitude effects are also confirmed. Finally, subjects' procrastinating behavior, as reported in the questionnaire conducted at the end of the experiment, is explained by the time discount rates and the degree of the delay effect revealed in the experiment.

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Paper provided by Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University in its series ISER Discussion Paper with number 0726.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:dpr:wpaper:0726
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  1. Ted O'Donoghue and Matthew Rabin ., 1997. "Doing It Now or Later," Economics Working Papers 97-253, University of California at Berkeley.
  2. Laibson, David, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
  3. Shunichiro Sasaki & Shiyu Xie & Fumio OhtakeAuthor-Name: & Jie Qin & Yoshiro Tsutsui, 2006. "Experiments on Risk Attitude: The Case of Chinese Students," ISER Discussion Paper 0664, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  4. 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.
  5. Uri Benzion & Amnon Rapoport & Joseph Yagil, 1989. "Discount Rates Inferred from Decisions: An Experimental Study," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(3), pages 270-284, March.
  6. Read, Daniel, 2001. " Is Time-Discounting Hyperbolic or Subadditive?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 5-32, July.
  7. Thaler, Richard, 1981. "Some empirical evidence on dynamic inconsistency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 201-207.
  8. Kirby, Kris N. & Marakovic, Nino N., 1995. "Modeling Myopic Decisions: Evidence for Hyperbolic Delay-Discounting within Subjects and Amounts," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 22-30, October.
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