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A Flexible Test for Present Bias and Time Preferences Using Land-Lease Contracts

Author

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  • Gautier, Pieter A.

    () (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • van Vuuren, Aico

    () (University of Gothenburg)

Abstract

When agents have present bias, they discount more between now and the next period than between period t (> 1) and t + 1. How fast the future discount rate (evaluated today) decays is an empirical question. We show that the discount function can be non-parametrically identified with contracts that specify payments that take place at various points in time in the future and which are traded and priced in a competitive market. We use a unique land lease-contract data set for Amsterdam, which has the above properties, to test for present bias in a flexible way. We find no evidence for present bias in this market. Even though we allow for a general-hyperbolic specification (which has exponential discounting as a special case), our estimates converge to an exponential discount function with a corresponding discount rate (in our baseline specification) of 8 %.

Suggested Citation

  • Gautier, Pieter A. & van Vuuren, Aico, 2011. "A Flexible Test for Present Bias and Time Preferences Using Land-Lease Contracts," IZA Discussion Papers 5821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5821
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hanming Fang & Yang Wang, 2015. "Estimating Dynamic Discrete Choice Models With Hyperbolic Discounting, With An Application To Mammography Decisions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 56, pages 565-596, May.
    2. David Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 2005. "Estimating Discount Functions with Consumption Choices over the Lifecycle," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000643, UCLA Department of Economics.
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    4. Thaler, Richard, 1981. "Some empirical evidence on dynamic inconsistency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 201-207.
    5. Ahumada, Hildegart A. & Garegnani, Maria Lorena, 2007. "Testing hyperbolic discounting in consumer decisions: Evidence for Argentina," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 146-150, April.
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    11. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bracke, Philippe & Pinchbeck, Ted & Wyatt, James, 2014. "The time value of housing: historical evidence from London residential leases," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 64504, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    present bias; hyperbolic discounting; discount rate; hedonic estimation;

    JEL classification:

    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis

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