Measuring Time Preferences
- (pp. 299-347)
AbstractWe review research that measures time preferences—i.e., preferences over intertemporal trade-offs. We distinguish between studies using financial flows, which we call "money earlier or later" (MEL) decisions, and studies that use time-dated consumption/effort. Under different structural models, we show how to translate what MEL experiments directly measure (required rates of return for financial flows) into a discount function over utils. We summarize empirical regularities found in MEL studies and the predictive power of those studies. We explain why MEL choices are driven in part by some factors that are distinct from underlying time preferences.
CitationCohen, Jonathan, Keith Marzilli Ericson, David Laibson, and John Myles White. 2020. "Measuring Time Preferences." Journal of Economic Literature, 58 (2): 299-347. DOI: 10.1257/jel.20191074
- C61 Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
- D15 Intertemporal Household Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving