Intertemporal Choice - Toward an Integrative Framework
Intertemporal choices are decisions with consequences that play out over time. These choices range from the prosaicâ€“-how much food to eat at a mealâ€“ to life--changing decisions about education, marriage, fertility, health behaviors and savings. Intertemporal preferences also affect policy debates about long-run challenges, such as global warming. Historically, it was assumed that delayed rewards were discounted at a constant rate over time. Recent theoretical and empirical advances from economic, psychological and neuroscience perspectives, however, have revealed a more complex account of how individuals make intertemporal decisions. We review and integrate these advances. We emphasize three different, occasionally competing, mechanisms that are implemented in the brain: representation, anticipation and self-control.
|Date of creation:||2007|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Littauer Center, Cambridge, MA 02138|
Web page: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/
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