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The Impulsiveness of the Roma Minority, the Czech Majority and the Psychological, Demographic, and Socioeconomic Correlations

Petr Houdek and Nina Rybáková

Acta Oeconomica Pragensia, 2017, vol. 2017, issue 4, 13-38

Abstract: The article examines the differences in individual discount rates among the Roma ethnic group (Gypsies) and the Czech ethnic group. Low income, low education, and currently unemployed participants (Roma N=27, Czechs N=23) were subjected to pilot experiments based on in-depth questionnaires. In addition to impulsivity (delay-discount rates), the correlation with cognitive aptitude, risk attitudes, and various socioeconomic and demographic characteristics were analysed. Even though the Roma group was characterised by lower cognitive abilities, education, and financial literacy, our results indicate that participants from both groups appear to be equally impatient, with discount rates close to the values of individuals dependent on addictive substances (according to the results of some earlier foreign studies). Nevertheless, the Roma ethnic group is better characterised by inconsistent discounting compared to the Czechs who behave more consistently. However, these results are not robust to alternative estimation characteristics. We also found a positive effect of financial literacy on savings in the Roma sample. The conclusion discusses the influence of the environmental context on impulsivity and reviews the limitations of the study.

Keywords: Czech Republic; financial literacy; impulsiveness; Roma; poverty; cognition; discounting; time preference; self-control; savings (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I32 J15 J22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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