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Consume Now or Later? Time Inconsistency, Collective Choice and Revealed Preference

  • Abi Adams
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    This paper develops a revealed preference methodology for exploring whether time inconsistencies in household choice are the product of nonstationarities at the individual level or the result of individual heterogeneity and renegotiation within the collective unit.� An empirical application to household-level microdata highlights that an explicit recognition of the collective nature of choice allows the vast majority of household behaviour to be rationalised by theory that assumes preference stationarity at the individual level.� For our particular short panel data set, simply permitting limited intrahousehold heterogeneity in time preferences allows the choices of 98.4% of the sample to be rationalised by a model that assumes exponential discounting at the individual level.� We also find that couples characterized by lower divergece in spousal discount rates are older, more likely to have children and wealthier, which we take as indications of experiencing higher match quality.

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    Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 625.

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    Date of creation: 01 Oct 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:625
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    4. Richard H. Thaler & Shlomo Benartzi, 2004. "Save More Tomorrow (TM): Using Behavioral Economics to Increase Employee Saving," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages S164-S187, February.
    5. Cherchye, L.J.H. & de Rock, B. & Vermeulen, F.M.P., 2004. "The Collective Model of Household Consumption : A Nonparametric Characterization," Discussion Paper 2004-76, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    6. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
    7. Burdett, Kenneth & Coles, Melvyn G, 1999. "Long-Term Partnership Formation: Marriage and Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages F307-34, June.
    8. Stéphane Zuber, 2011. "The aggregation of preferences: can we ignore the past?," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 70(3), pages 367-384, March.
    9. Varian, Hal R., 1985. "Non-parametric analysis of optimizing behavior with measurement error," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 445-458.
    10. Tim Beatty & Ian Crawford, 2010. "How demanding is the revealed preference approach to demand," CeMMAP working papers CWP17/10, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    11. Laurens Cherchye & Bram De Rock & Frederic Vermeulen, 2009. "Opening the black box of intrahousehold decision making: theory and nonparametric empirical tests of general collective consumption models," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/98561, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    12. Ian Crawford, 2010. "Habits Revealed," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1382-1402.
    13. Varian, Hal R, 1982. "The Nonparametric Approach to Demand Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 945-73, July.
    14. Laibson, David, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
    15. Martin Browning & M. Dolores Collado, 2001. "The Response of Expenditures to Anticipated Income Changes: Panel Data Estimates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 681-692, June.
    16. Selten, Reinhard, 1991. "Properties of a measure of predictive success," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 153-167, April.
    17. Becker, Gary S & Landes, Elisabeth M & Michael, Robert T, 1977. "An Economic Analysis of Marital Instability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(6), pages 1141-87, December.
    18. Maurizio Mazzocco, 2007. "Household Intertemporal Behaviour: A Collective Characterization and a Test of Commitment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 857-895.
    19. Stefano DellaVigna & Ulrike Malmendier, 2006. "Paying Not to Go to the Gym," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 694-719, June.
    20. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1984. "Involuntary Unemployment as a Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1351-64, November.
    21. Laibson, David, 1998. "Life-cycle consumption and hyperbolic discount functions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 861-871, May.
    22. Thomas Demuynck & Ewout Verriest, 2013. "I’Ll Never Forget My First Cigarette: A Revealed Preference Analysis Of The “Habits As Durables” Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 54(2), pages 717-738, 05.
    23. Richard Thaler & Shlomo Benartzi, 2004. "Save more tomorrow: Using behavioral economics to increase employee saving," Natural Field Experiments 00337, The Field Experiments Website.
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