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Field experiments on the development of time preferences

Author

Listed:
  • James Andreoni
  • Michael Kuhn
  • John List
  • Anya Samek
  • Charles Sprenger

Abstract

Time preferences have been correlated with a range of life outcomes, yet little is known about their early development. We conduct a field experiment to elicit time preferences of nearly 1,000 children ages 3-12, who make several inter temporal decisions. To shed light on how such primitives form, we explore various channels that might affect time preferences, from background characteristics to the causal impact of an early schooling program that we developed and operated. Our results suggest that time preferences evolve substantially during this period with younger children displaying more impatience than older children. We also find a strong association with race: black children, relative to white or Hispanic children, are more impatient. Interestingly, parents of black children are also much more impatient than parents of white and Hispanic children. Finally, assignment to different schooling opportunities is not significantly associated with child time preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • James Andreoni & Michael Kuhn & John List & Anya Samek & Charles Sprenger, 2017. "Field experiments on the development of time preferences," Artefactual Field Experiments 00615, The Field Experiments Website.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:artefa:00615
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah & Deckers, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Kosse, Fabian, 2014. "How Does Socio-Economic Status Shape a Child's Personality?," VfS Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100285, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
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    10. Silvia Angerer & Philipp Lergetporer & Daniela Glätzle-Rützler & Matthias Sutter, 2015. "How to measure time preferences in children: a comparison of two methods," Journal of the Economic Science Association, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 1(2), pages 158-169, December.
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    1. Field experiments on the development of time preferences
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2018-03-20 13:36:26

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Brenøe, Anne Ardila & Epper, Thomas, 2019. "Parenting Values Moderate the Intergenerational Transmission of Time Preferences," IZA Discussion Papers 12710, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. John List & Ragan Petrie & Anya Samek, 2021. "How Experiments with Children Inform Economics," Artefactual Field Experiments 00729, The Field Experiments Website.
    3. Chien‐Yu Lai & John A List & Anya Samek, 2020. "Got Milk? Using Nudges to Reduce Consumption of Added Sugar," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 102(1), pages 154-168, January.
    4. Islam, Asad & Lee, Wang-Sheng & Nicholas, Aaron, 2021. "The Effects of Chess Instruction on Academic and Non-cognitive Outcomes: Field Experimental Evidence from a Developing Country," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C).
    5. Samek, Anya & Gray, Andre & Datar, Ashlesha & Nicosia, Nancy, 2021. "Adolescent time and risk preferences: Measurement, determinants and field consequences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 184(C), pages 460-488.
    6. John List & Ragan Petrie & Anya Samek, 2021. "How Experiments with Children Inform Economics," Artefactual Field Experiments 00729, The Field Experiments Website.

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