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Heterogeneous impatience and dynamic inconsistency

  • Hara, Chiaki
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    It has been shown in the literature that if the individual consumers have constant but unequal time discount rates, then the representative consumer has discount rates that is a strictly decreasing function of time, just as is the case of hyperbolic discounting. No contribution, however, has so far established a general relationship between the degree of heterogeneity of individual consumers' subjective discount rates on the one hand and the degree of dynamic inconsistency of the representative consumer's discount rate function on the other. In this paper, we show that the more convex the cumulant generating function of the approximately wealth-weighted distribution of individual consumers' subjective discount rates is, the more dynamically inconsistent the representative consumer is in the sense of Prelec (2004), and vice versa. Applications to the term structure of interest rates are explored and the special case where the distributions of subjective discount rates are taken from an exponential family is investigated.

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    File URL: http://hermes-ir.lib.hit-u.ac.jp/rs/bitstream/10086/23084/1/cis_dp557.pdf
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    Paper provided by Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University in its series CIS Discussion paper series with number 557.

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    Length: 23 p.
    Date of creation: May 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hit:cisdps:557
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    1. Clotilde Napp & Elyès Jouini, 2007. "Consensus consumer and intertemporal asset pricing with heterogeneous beliefs," Post-Print halshs-00152348, HAL.
    2. Guntar Franke & Richard C. Stapleton & Marti G. Subrahmanyam, 1999. "When are Options Overpriced? The Black-Scholes Model and Alternative Characterizations of the Pricing Kernel," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 99-003, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
    3. Drazen Prelec, 2004. "Decreasing Impatience: A Criterion for Non-stationary Time Preference and "Hyperbolic" Discounting," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(3), pages 511-532, October.
    4. Martin L. Weitzman, 1998. "Gamma Discounting," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1843, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    5. Christian Gollier & Richard Zeckhauser, 2005. "Aggregation of Heterogeneous Time Preferences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(4), pages 878-896, August.
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