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On Measuring Time Preferences

  • James Andreoni
  • Michael A. Kuhn
  • Charles Sprenger

Eliciting time preferences has become an important component of both laboratory and field experiments, yet there is no consensus as how to best measure discounting. We examine the predictive validity of two recent, simple, easily administered, and individually successful elicitation tools: Convex Time Budgets (CTB) and Double Multiple Price Lists (DMPL). Using similar methods, the CTB and DMPL are compared using within- and out-of-sample predictions. While each perform equally well within sample, the CTB significantly outperforms the DMPL on out-of-sample measures.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19392.

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Date of creation: Aug 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19392
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  1. James Andreoni & Charles Sprenger, 2010. "Risk Preferences Are Not Time Preferences," Levine's Working Paper Archive 814577000000000452, David K. Levine.
  2. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2009. "Are Risk Aversion and Impatience Related to Cognitive Ability?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2620, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Ned Augenblick & Muriel Niederle & Charles Sprenger, 2013. "Working Over Time: Dynamic Inconsistency in Real Effort Tasks," NBER Working Papers 18734, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Matthew Rabin, 2000. "Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1281-1292, September.
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  7. Gine, Xavier & Goldberg, Jessica & Silverman, Dan & Yang, Dean, 2012. "Revising commitments : field evidence on the adjustment of prior choices," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6093, The World Bank.
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  9. Meier, Stephan & Sprenger, Charles, 2009. "Present-Biased Preferences and Credit Card Borrowing," IZA Discussion Papers 4198, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Matthew Rabin & Ted O'Donoghue, 1999. "Doing It Now or Later," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 103-124, March.
  11. Jerry A. Hausman, 1979. "Individual Discount Rates and the Purchase and Utilization of Energy-Using Durables," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 33-54, Spring.
  12. Gourinchas, P.O. & Parker, J.A., 1997. "Consumption Over the Life Cycle," Working papers 9722, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  13. 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.
  14. Dan Ariely & George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 2003. ""Coherent Arbitrariness": Stable Demand Curves Without Stable Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 73-105, February.
  15. Lawrance, Emily C, 1991. "Poverty and the Rate of Time Preference: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 54-77, February.
  16. Saul Pleeter & John T. Warner, 2001. "The Personal Discount Rate: Evidence from Military Downsizing Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 33-53, March.
  17. Dean Karlan & Nava Ashaf & Wesley Yin, 2004. "Tying odysseus to the mast: Evidence from a commitment savings product in the philippines," Natural Field Experiments 00206, The Field Experiments Website.
  18. James Andreoni & Charles Sprenger, 2012. "Estimating Time Preferences from Convex Budgets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3333-56, December.
  19. Cagetti, Marco, 2003. "Wealth Accumulation over the Life Cycle and Precautionary Savings," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 21(3), pages 339-53, July.
  20. David Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 2000. "A Debt Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 7879, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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