IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Empirical Identification of Time Preferences: Theory and An Illustration Using Convex Time Budgets


  • Antoine Bommier
  • Bruno Lanz


We develop a simple theoretical framework that identifies time preferences without relying on a particular utility function. Our empirical strategy requires observations about intertemporal consumption allocation decisions made under varying relative prices, and seeks to approximate the marginal rate of substitution of consumption at different dates along a constant consumption path. Doing so, we emphasize the importance of measuring the curvature of the intertemporal utility function (or willingness to substitute consumption across time). We illustrate our approach with data derived from the convex time budget procedure of Andreoni and Sprenger (AER, 2012).

Suggested Citation

  • Antoine Bommier & Bruno Lanz, 2017. "Empirical Identification of Time Preferences: Theory and An Illustration Using Convex Time Budgets," IRENE Working Papers 17-02, IRENE Institute of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:irn:wpaper:17-02

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Epstein, Larry G., 1987. "A simple dynamic general equilibrium model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 68-95, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Intertemporal choice; Discounting behavior; Intertemporal substitution; Discounted utility model; Convex budgets;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:irn:wpaper:17-02. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sylvain Weber). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.