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Present-bias in different income groups

  • Erdem O.
  • Can B.


The excessive use of credit cards and increasing consumer borrowing has been a major problem. Laibson (1997) suggests the present-bias problem as one of the driving forces of excessive borrowing. Shefrin and Thaler (1988) suggest that self-control underlies national borrowing/savings rate. We conduct a survey to check for present-bias as well as self-control problems among individuals in Turkey. Our fi ndings show that diff erent income groups have similar discount factors, i.e., impatience levels, but very diff erent degrees of dynamic inconsistencies, i.e. present-bias levels. In particular, 29.4% of low-income individuals exhibit present-bias whereas this is down to 6.4% for high-income individuals. Using the parameters we achieve through the surveys, policymakers can design appropriate commitment devices for time-inconsistent individuals to ensure a sustainable level of aggregate saving and fi nancial investment.

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Paper provided by Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE) in its series Research Memorandum with number 008.

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Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:unm:umagsb:2013008
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  1. Ted O'Donoghue and Matthew Rabin ., 1997. "Doing It Now or Later," Economics Working Papers 97-253, University of California at Berkeley.
  2. David Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 2007. "Estimating Discount Functions with Consumption Choices over the Lifecycle," Documentos de Trabajo 236, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  3. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:2:p:443-77 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & Melonie B. Williams, 2001. "Estimating Individual Discount Rates in Denmark: A Field Experiment," NCEE Working Paper Series 200102, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Nov 2001.
  5. repec:oup:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:2:p:443-77 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Thaler, Richard, 1981. "Some empirical evidence on dynamic inconsistency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 201-207.
  7. 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.
  8. Meier, Stephan & Sprenger, Charles, 2009. "Present-Biased Preferences and Credit Card Borrowing," IZA Discussion Papers 4198, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Laibson, David I., 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," Scholarly Articles 4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Botond Kőszegi & Paul Heidhues, 2008. "Competition and Price Variation When Consumers Are Loss Averse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1245-68, September.
  11. Shefrin, Hersh M & Thaler, Richard H, 1988. "The Behavioral Life-Cycle Hypothesis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 609-43, October.
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