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A theory of endogenous time preference, and discounted utility anomalies

Author

Listed:
  • Svetlana Boyarchenko

    (The University of Texas at Austin)

  • Sergei Levendorskii

    (The University of Texas at Austin)

Abstract

We explain essentially all known discounted utility anomalies as artefacts of the optimizing behavior of an individual with a time- separable utility function, who perceives a good as a source of a stochastic consumption stream, and believes that she can wait for an optimal moment to buy or sell the good. For this individual, the fair price of the corresponding utility stream is interpreted as an integral of a deterministic utility stream multiplied by certain non-exponential factors which we interpret as endogenous discount factors; the factors are different for gains and losses, and depend on the utility function and underlying uncertainty. We provide analytic expressions and numerical examples for discount factors assuming simple utility functions and gaussian uncertainty.

Suggested Citation

  • Svetlana Boyarchenko & Sergei Levendorskii, 2005. "A theory of endogenous time preference, and discounted utility anomalies," Microeconomics 0506005, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpmi:0506005
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 33
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    File URL: https://econwpa.ub.uni-muenchen.de/econ-wp/mic/papers/0506/0506005.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Svetlana Boyarchenko & Sergei Levendorskii, 2005. "American options: the EPV pricing model," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 267-292, August.
    2. David K. Levine & Drew Fudenberg, 2006. "A Dual-Self Model of Impulse Control," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1449-1476, December.
    3. Svetlana Boyarchenko, 2004. "Irreversible Decisions and Record-Setting News Principles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 557-568, June.
    4. Efe A Ok & Yusufcan Masatlioglu, 2003. "A General Theory of Time Preferences," Levine's Bibliography 234936000000000089, UCLA Department of Economics.
    5. Svetlana Boyarchenko & Sergei Levendorski&icaron;, 2007. "Practical Guide To Real Options In Discrete Time," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(1), pages 311-342, February.
    6. Boyarchenko, Svetlana & Levendorskii[caron], Sergei, 2007. "Optimal stopping made easy," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 201-217, February.
    7. E. S. Phelps & R. A. Pollak, 1968. "On Second-Best National Saving and Game-Equilibrium Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(2), pages 185-199.
    8. Harrison, J. Michael & Pliska, Stanley R., 1981. "Martingales and stochastic integrals in the theory of continuous trading," Stochastic Processes and their Applications, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 215-260, August.
    9. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    10. 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.
    11. Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1959. "Stationary Ordinal Utility and Impatience," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 81, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    12. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-654, May-June.
    13. George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 1992. "Anomalies in Intertemporal Choice: Evidence and an Interpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 573-597.
    14. Lowenstein, George & Prelec, Drazen, 1991. "Negative Time Preference," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 347-352, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gomes, Orlando, 2007. "Socially determined time preference in discrete time," MPRA Paper 3442, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Time preference; discounted utility anomalies; decision-making under uncertainty; optimal stopping;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies

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