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Collective intertemporal decisions and heterogeneity in groups

Daniela Glätzle-Rützler (), Philipp Lergetporer () and Matthias Sutter ()

Working Papers from Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck

Abstract: Many important intertemporal decisions, such as investments of firms or households, are made by groups rather than individuals. Little is known what happens to such collective decisions when group members have different incentives for waiting, because the economics literature on group decision making has, so far, assumed homogeneity within groups. In a lab experiment, we study the causal effect of group members'€™ heterogeneous payoffs from waiting on intertemporal choices. We find that three-person groups behave more patiently than individuals and that this effect is driven by the presence of at least one group member with a high payoff from waiting. We present group chat content, survey data, and additional treatments to uncover the mechanism through which heterogeneity in groups increases patience.

Keywords: patience; time preferences; group decisions; payoff heterogeneity; experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 C92 D03 D90 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-cdm, nep-exp and nep-upt
Date: 2019-10
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