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How Time Preferences Differ: Evidence from 45 Countries

Author

Listed:
  • Wang, Mei

    () (WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management)

  • Rieger, Marc Oliver

    () (Dept. IV, Business Administration, University of Trier)

  • Hens, Thorsten

    () (Dept. of Finance and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

Abstract

We present results from the first large-scale international survey on time discounting, conducted in 45 countries. Cross-country variation cannot simply be explained by economic variables such as interest rates or in ation. In particular, we find strong evidence for cultural differences, as measured by the Hofstede cultural dimensions. For example, high levels of Uncertainty Avoidance or Individualism are both associated with strong hyperbolic discounting. Moreover, as application of our data, we find evidence for an impact of time preferences on the capability of technological innovations in a country and on environmental protection.

Suggested Citation

  • Wang, Mei & Rieger, Marc Oliver & Hens, Thorsten, 2011. "How Time Preferences Differ: Evidence from 45 Countries," Discussion Papers 2011/18, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhhfms:2011_018
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/11250/164166
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Read, Daniel & Roelofsma, Peter H. M. P., 2003. "Subadditive versus hyperbolic discounting: A comparison of choice and matching," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 140-153, July.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Cross-country variation in time preference
      by Jason Collins in Evolving Economics on 2013-11-18 19:27:27
    2. Where do pro-social institutions come from?
      by pseudoerasmus in Pseudoerasmus on 2015-10-04 05:01:30

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas Dohmen & Benjamin Enke & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2016. "Patience and the Wealth of Nations," Working Papers 2016-012, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    2. Guest, Ross, 2018. "Does compulsory superannuation disadvantage middle income earners?," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 130-137.
    3. Stelter, Robert, 2014. "Over-aging: Are present human populations too old?," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 137, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
    4. Fischer, Thomas, 2017. "Thomas Piketty and the rate of time preference," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 111-133.
    5. Havranek, Tomas & Horvath, Roman & Irsova, Zuzana & Rusnak, Marek, 2015. "Cross-country heterogeneity in intertemporal substitution," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 100-118.
    6. Falk, A. & Becker, A. & Dohmen, T.J. & Enke, B. & Huffman, D. & Sunde, U., 2015. "The nature and predictive power of preferences : global evidence," ROA Research Memorandum 012, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    7. Ken-Ichi Hirose & Shinsuke Ikeda, 2015. "Decreasing Marginal Impatience and Capital Accumulation in a Two-Country World Economy," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 474-507, July.
    8. Wu, Tian & Shang, Zhe & Tian, Xin & Wang, Shouyang, 2016. "How hyperbolic discounting preference affects Chinese consumers’ consumption choice between conventional and electric vehicles," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 400-413.
    9. Eduardo A. Cavallo & Tomás Serebrisky & Verónica Frisancho & Jonathan Karver & Andrew Powell & Diego Margot & Ancor Suárez-Alemán & Eduardo Fernández-Arias & Matías Marzani & Solange Berstein & Marian, 2016. "Saving for Development: How Latin America and the Caribbean Can Save More and Better," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 94597 edited by Eduardo A. Cavallo & Tomás Serebrisky, February.
    10. Marc Oliver Rieger & Thorsten Hens & Mei Wang, 2013. "International Evidence on the Equity Premium Puzzle and Time Discounting," Multinational Finance Journal, Multinational Finance Journal, vol. 17(3-4), pages 149-163, September.
    11. Basu, Karna, 2014. "Commitment savings in informal banking markets," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 97-111.
    12. Cavallo, Eduardo A. & Serebrisky, Tomás & Frisancho, Verónica & Karver, Jonathan & Powell, Andrew & Margot, Diego & Suárez-Alemán, Ancor & Fernández-Arias, Eduardo & Marzani, Matías & Berstein, Solang, 2016. "Saving for Development: How Latin America and the Caribbean Can Save More and Better," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 7677, December.
    13. van der Pol, Marjon & Walsh, David & McCartney, Gerry, 2015. "Comparing time and risk preferences across three post-industrial UK cities," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 54-61.
    14. repec:spr:agfoec:v:1:y:2013:i:1:p:1-19 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Otto Lenhart, 2018. "More than just the Adoption of Western Capitalism? Time Use Changes in East Germany Following Reunification," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 306-328, September.
    16. Fryer, Roland G., 2016. "Information, non-financial incentives, and student achievement: Evidence from a text messaging experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 109-121.
    17. Turnovsky, Stephen J., 2019. "Demographic structures, savings, and international capital flows," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 1-1.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Time preferences; Intertemporal decision; Endogenous preference; Cross-cultural comparison;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General
    • F40 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - General

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