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Time Discounting and Wealth Inequality

Author

Listed:
  • Epper, Thomas
  • Fehr, Ernst
  • Fehr-Duda, Helga
  • Thustrup Kreiner, Claus
  • Dreyer Lassen, David
  • Leth-Petersen, Søren
  • Nytoft Rasmussen, Gregers

Abstract

This paper documents a large association between individuals’ time discounting in incentivized experiments and their positions in the real-life wealth distribution derived from Danish highquality administrative data for a large sample of middle-aged individuals. The association is stable over time, exists through the wealth distribution and remains large after controlling for education, income profile, school grades, initial wealth, parental wealth, credit constraints, demographics, risk preferences and additional behavioral parameters. Our results suggest that savings behavior is a driver of the observed association between patience and wealth inequality as predicted by standard savings theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Epper, Thomas & Fehr, Ernst & Fehr-Duda, Helga & Thustrup Kreiner, Claus & Dreyer Lassen, David & Leth-Petersen, Søren & Nytoft Rasmussen, Gregers, 2019. "Time Discounting and Wealth Inequality," Economics Working Paper Series 1916, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:econwp:2019:16
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    • Thomas Epper & Ernst Fehr & Helga Fehr-Duda & Claus Thustrup Kreiner & David Dreyer Lassen & Soeren Leth-Petersen & Gregers Nytoft Rasmussen, 2019. "Time Discounting and Wealth Inequality," CEBI working paper series 19-08, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. The Center for Economic Behavior and Inequality (CEBI).

    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Time Discounting and Wealth Inequality
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2019-11-25 22:29:11

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    Cited by:

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    2. Andersen, Torben M. & Bhattacharya, Joydeep & Grodecka-Messi, Anna & Mann, Katja, 2022. "Pension reform and wealth inequality: evidence from Denmark," Working Paper Series 411, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
    3. Liu, Hongqi & Peng, Cameron & Xiong, Wei A. & Xiong, Wei, 2022. "Taming the bias zoo," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(2), pages 716-741.
    4. Markus Knell & Reinhard Koman, 2022. "Pension Entitlements and Net Wealth in Austria," Working Papers 238, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
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    6. Marco Castillo & John A. List & Ragan Petrie & Anya Samek, 2020. "Detecting Drivers of Behavior at an Early Age: Evidence from a Longitudinal Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 28288, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Burro, Giovanni & McDonald, Rebecca & Read, Daniel & Taj, Umar, 2022. "Patience decreases with age for the poor but not for the rich: an international comparison," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 193(C), pages 596-621.
    8. Kristoffer B. Hvidberg & Claus T. Kreiner & Stefanie Stantcheva, 2021. "Social Position and Fairness Views," CEBI working paper series 21-04, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. The Center for Economic Behavior and Inequality (CEBI).
    9. Friehe, Tim & Pannenberg, Markus, 2021. "Time preferences and overconfident beliefs: Evidence from germany," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 92(C).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Wealth inequality; savings behavior; time discounting; experimental methods; administrative data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D15 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Intertemporal Household Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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