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Discounting, Patience, and Dynamic Decision Making

  • John Quah
  • Bruno Strulovici

Whether they are financial, economic, or psychological, discount rates affect most economic decisions: investment and savings, hirings and firings, defaults and refinancing, financial and economic reforms, learning and experimentation, and any other decision with long-term consequences, such as gas emissions control.� This paper studies these questions in a unified framework, providing general insights and results showing how discounting affects i) the expected utility of an agent, ii) the timing and the magnitude of his decisions, and iii) the path of underlying state variables controlled by the agent.� The analysis includes the case of a time-inconsistent agent and of stochastic discounting.

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File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/working_papers/paper555.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 555.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2011
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:555
Contact details of provider: Postal: Manor Rd. Building, Oxford, OX1 3UQ
Web page: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/
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  1. John K.-H. Quah & Bruno Strulovici, 2007. "Comparative Statics, Informativeness, and the Interval Dominance Order," Economics Papers 2007-W04, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  2. Bruno Strulovici, 2010. "Learning While Voting: Determinants of Collective Experimentation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(3), pages 933-971, 05.
  3. Nachman, David C., 1975. "Risk aversion, impatience, and optimal timing decisions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 196-246, October.
  4. Drazen Prelec, 2004. "Decreasing Impatience: A Criterion for Non-stationary Time Preference and "Hyperbolic" Discounting," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(3), pages 511-532, October.
  5. O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 1997. "Doing It Now or Later," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt7t44m5b0, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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  7. Martin L. Weitzman, 2007. "A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 703-724, September.
  8. James E. Foster & Tapan Mitra, 2003. "Ranking investment projects," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 469-494, October.
  9. Godfrey Keller & Sven Rady & Martin Cripps, 2005. "Strategic Experimentation with Exponential Bandits," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(1), pages 39-68, 01.
  10. Patrick Bolton & Christopher Harris, 1999. "Strategic Experimentation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 349-374, March.
  11. Paul Milgrom & Ilya Segal, 2002. "Envelope Theorems for Arbitrary Choice Sets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 583-601, March.
  12. Ross, Stephen A. & Spatt, Chester S. & Dybvig, Philip H., 1980. "Present values and internal rates of return," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 66-81, August.
  13. William D. Nordhaus, 2007. "A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 686-702, September.
  14. Hayne E. Leland., 1994. "Corporate Debt Value, Bond Covenants, and Optimal Capital Structure," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-233, University of California at Berkeley.
  15. Flemming, J S & Wright, J F, 1971. "Uniqueness of the Internal Rate of Return: A Generalisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 81(322), pages 256-63, June.
  16. Gustavo Manso & Bruno Strulovici & Alexei Tchistyi, 2010. "Performance-Sensitive Debt," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(5), pages 1819-1854.
  17. Sen, Amartya, 1975. "Minimal conditions for monotonicity of capital value," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 340-355, December.
  18. Milgrom, P. & Shannon, C., 1991. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Papers 11, Stanford - Institute for Thoretical Economics.
  19. Arrow, Kenneth J & Levhari, David, 1969. "Uniqueness of the Internal Rate of Return with Variable Life of Investment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 79(315), pages 560-66, September.
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