EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Closing the Eyes on a Gloomy Future: Psychological Causes and Economic Consequences

Rachid Laajaj

No 123933, 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington from Agricultural and Applied Economics Association

Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of economic prospects on one’s time preference. Research in psychol- ogy has shown how individuals modify their preferences in order to reduce their cognitive dissonance, which is the uncomfortable tension felt when simultaneously holding conflicting thoughts. It occurs among the poor when simultaneously caring about their future welfare while having gloomy economic prospects. Hence closing their eyes on the future can reduce their psychological distress at the cost of worsening their future economic wellbeing. This paper offers a new theoretical approach that decom- poses time discounting and analyzes the endogenous determination of one’s time horizon. The model predicts that, below a certain wealth, the time horizon of an individual is decreasing in poverty, result- ing in a behavioral poverty trap. The prediction is tested using data from a randomized experiment in Mozambique, which confirms that the beneficiaries of an agro-input subsidy and a matched savings intervention increased their planning horizon as a result of their improved economic prospects.

Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development; Consumer/Household Economics; Institutional and Behavioral Economics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 28
Date: 2012
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-evo and nep-neu
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (8) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/123933/files/R ... iness%20paper-13.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ags:aaea12:123933

DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.123933

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington from Agricultural and Applied Economics Association Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by AgEcon Search ().

 
Page updated 2022-09-10
Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea12:123933