The Agricultural Origins of Time Preference
- (pp. 3064-3103)
AbstractThis research explores the origins of observed differences in time preference across countries and regions. Exploiting a natural experiment associated with the expansion of suitable crops for cultivation in the course of the Columbian Exchange, the research establishes that pre-industrial agro-climatic characteristics which were conducive to higher return to agricultural investment triggered selection, adaptation, and learning processes that generated a persistent positive effect on the prevalence of long-term orientation in the contemporary era. Furthermore, the research establishes that these agro-climatic characteristics have had a culturally embodied impact on economic behavior such as technological adoption, education, saving, and smoking.
Citation2016. "The Agricultural Origins of Time Preference." American Economic Review, 106(10): 3064-3103. DOI: 10.1257/aer.20150020
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