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Strotz meets Allais: Diminishing Impatience and the Certainty Effect

  • Halevy, Yoram

Decision makers tend to exhibit a higher degree of impatience when considering a delay to an immediate reward than when contemplating an identical delay to an equal future reward. This work argues that diminishing impatience originates from the distinction between the certain present and the risky future. A simple functional representation of preferences, which exhibits time inconsistency when the future is uncertain, is derived. Existing experimental evidence, which is inconsistent with other formulations that account for diminishing impatience, supports the proposed approach. Furthermore, the new theory uncovers a tight relation between diminishing impatience and well-known behavioral regularities in the field of choice under risk and uncertainty

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File URL: http://faculty.arts.ubc.ca/yhalevy/disc-neu.pdf
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Paper provided by Vancouver School of Economics in its series Microeconomics.ca working papers with number halevy-04-10-29-10-08-43.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 29 Oct 2004
Date of revision: 25 Feb 2014
Handle: RePEc:ubc:pmicro:halevy-04-10-29-10-08-43
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.economics.ubc.ca/

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  1. Yoram Halevy, 2007. "Ellsberg Revisited: An Experimental Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(2), pages 503-536, 03.
  2. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 1996. "Doing It Now or Later," Discussion Papers 1172, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Schmeidler, D. & Karni, E., 1990. "A Temporal Dynamic Consistency And Expected Utility Theory," Papers 39-90, Tel Aviv.
  4. Uri Benzion & Amnon Rapoport & Joseph Yagil, 1989. "Discount Rates Inferred from Decisions: An Experimental Study," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(3), pages 270-284, March.
  5. David Schmeidler, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7662, David K. Levine.
  6. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. " Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
  7. Thaler, Richard, 1981. "Some empirical evidence on dynamic inconsistency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 201-207.
  8. Loewenstein, George & Prelec, Drazen, 1992. "Anomalies in Intertemporal Choice: Evidence and an Interpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 573-97, May.
  9. Jawwad Noor, 2007. "Hyperbolic Discounting and the Standard Model," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2007-028, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  10. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  11. Chris Starmer, 2000. "Developments in Non-expected Utility Theory: The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 332-382, June.
  12. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
  13. Ok, Efe A. & Masatlioglu, Yusufcan, 2007. "A theory of (relative) discounting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 214-245, November.
  14. Drazen Prelec & George Loewenstein, 1991. "Decision Making Over Time and Under Uncertainty: A Common Approach," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 37(7), pages 770-786, July.
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