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The Impact of Education on the Subjective Discount Rate in Ugandan Villages

  • Bauer, Michal

    ()

    (Charles University, Prague)

  • Chytilová, Julie

    ()

    (Charles University, Prague)

Heterogeneity in time discounting may reinforce the existing barriers to save and invest faced by rural populations in developing countries. We elicit a subjective discount rate for a varied sample of Ugandan villagers. In accordance with other studies, we have found the discount rate to decrease with education. We examine this correlation further by testing the causal effect of education and exploit two different sources of its variation: school frequency across villages and the number of the respondents' school-going years that overlap with the era of the dictator Idi Amin's rule. For men, we find that education has a significant impact on their discount rate, similar in magnitude for both types of instruments and robust to observable characteristics. This finding highlights the importance of education in development.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4057.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic Development and Cultural Change, 2010, 58 (4), 643–669
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4057
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  1. McKenzie, David J & Woodruff, Christopher, 2006. "Do Entry Costs Provide an Empirical Basis for Poverty Traps? Evidence from Mexican Microenterprises," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(1), pages 3-42, October.
  2. Lucia Breierova & Esther Duflo, 2003. "The Impact of Education on Fertility and Child Mortality: Do Fathers Really Matter Less Than Mothers?," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 217, OECD Publishing.
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  7. Akresh, Richard & de Walque, Damien, 2008. "Armed conflict and schooling : evidence from the 1994 Rwandan genocide," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4606, The World Bank.
  8. Camerer, Colin F & Hogarth, Robin M, 1999. "The Effects of Financial Incentives in Experiments: A Review and Capital-Labor-Production Framework," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 7-42, December.
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  10. Anderson, K.S. & Baland, J-M., 2000. "The Economics of Roscas and Intra-Household Resource Allocation," Discussion Paper 2000-83, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  11. Becker, Gary S & Mulligan, Casey B, 1997. "The Endogenous Determination of Time Preference," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 729-58, August.
  12. Matthias Doepke & Fabizio Zilibotti, 2006. "Patience Capital, Occupational Choice, and the Spirit of Capitalism," UCLA Economics Working Papers 848, UCLA Department of Economics.
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  14. Maribeth Coller & Melonie Williams, 1999. "Eliciting Individual Discount Rates," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 107-127, December.
  15. Juan Camilo Cardenas & Jeffrey P. Carpenter, 2005. "Experiments and Economic Development: Lessons from Field Labs in the Developing World," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0505, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
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