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Psychological and biological foundations of time preference : evidence from a day reconstruction study with biological tracking

Author

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  • Michael Daly
  • Liam Delaney
  • Colm Harmon

Abstract

This paper considers the relationship between the economic concept of time preference and relevant concepts from psychology and biology. Using novel data from a time diary study conducted in Ireland that combined detailed psychometric testing with medical testing and real time bio-tracking, we examine the distribution of a number of psychometric measures linked to the economic concept of time preferences and test the extent to which these measures form coherent clusters and the degree to which these clusters are related to underlying biological substrates. The paper finds that financial discounting is related to a range of psychological variables including consideration of future consequences, self-control, conscientiousness, extraversion, and experiential avoidance as well as being predicted by heart rate variability and blood pressure.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Daly & Liam Delaney & Colm Harmon, 2008. "Psychological and biological foundations of time preference : evidence from a day reconstruction study with biological tracking," Working Papers 200819, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:200819
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/593
    File Function: First version, 2008
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gary S. Becker & Casey B. Mulligan, 1997. "The Endogenous Determination of Time Preference," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 729-758.
    2. Lex Borghans & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Bas ter Weel, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
    3. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger & David Schkade & Norbert Schwarz & Arthur Stone, 2004. "Toward National Well-Being Accounts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 429-434, May.
    4. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
    5. 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.
    6. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-255, March-Apr.
    7. James J. Heckman, 2007. "The Economics, Technology and Neuroscience of Human Capability Formation," NBER Working Papers 13195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Colin F. Camerer & George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 2004. "Neuroeconomics: Why Economics Needs Brains," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(3), pages 555-579, October.
    9. Gergana Y. Nenkov & J. Jeffrey Inman & John Hulland, 2008. "Considering the Future: The Conceptualization and Measurement of Elaboration on Potential Outcomes," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(1), pages 126-141, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bruderer Enzler, Heidi & Diekmann, Andreas & Meyer, Reto, 2014. "Subjective discount rates in the general population and their predictive power for energy saving behavior," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 524-540.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Time and economic reactions--Ireland; Psychometrics--Research; Biology--Research;

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