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Can Intertemporal Choice Experiments Elicit Time Preferences for Consumption? Yes

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  • Glenn W. Harrison
  • J. Todd Swarthout

Abstract

The most popular experimental method for eliciting time preferences involves subjects making choices over smaller, sooner amounts of money and larger, later amounts of money. Under some theoretically possible configurations of preferences and procedures, the discount rates inferred from these choices could lead to misleading inferences about time preferences for consumption. Using a direct empirical test, we show that those configurations of preferences are empirically implausible.

Suggested Citation

  • Glenn W. Harrison & J. Todd Swarthout, 2011. "Can Intertemporal Choice Experiments Elicit Time Preferences for Consumption? Yes," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2011-09, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:exc:wpaper:2011-09
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    File URL: http://excen.gsu.edu/workingpapers/GSU_EXCEN_WP_2011-09.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Cheung, Stephen L., 2012. "Risk Preferences Are Not Time Preferences: Comment," IZA Discussion Papers 6762, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Sebastian Schweighofer-Kodritsch, 2015. "Time Preferences and Bargaining," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series /2015/568, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.

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