NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by David Bradford

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Working Papers

July 2014Time Preferences and Consumer Behavior
with Charles Courtemanche, Garth Heutel, Patrick McAlvanah, Christopher Ruhm: w20320
We investigate the predictive power of survey-elicited time preferences using a representative sample of US residents. In regressions controlling for demographics and risk preferences, we show that the discount factor elicited from choice experiments using multiple price lists and real payments predicts various health, energy, and financial outcomes, including overall self-reported health, smoking, drinking, car fuel efficiency, and credit card balance. We allow for time-inconsistent preferences and find that the long-run and present bias discount factors (δ and β) are each significantly associated in the expected direction with several of these outcomes. Finally, we explore alternate measures of time preference. Elicited discount factors are correlated with several such measures, incl...

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