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Toward an Understanding of the Development of Time Preferences: Evidence from Field Experiments

James Andreoni, Michael Kuhn, John List, Anya Samek, Kevin Sokal and Charles Sprenger

No 25590, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Time preferences have been correlated with a range of life outcomes, yet little is known about their early development. We conduct a field experiment to elicit time preferences of over 1,200 children ages 3-12, who make several intertemporal decisions. To shed light on how such primitives form, we explore various channels that might affect time preferences, from background characteristics to the causal impact of an early schooling program that we developed and operated. Our results suggest that time preferences evolve substantially during this period, with younger children displaying more impatience than older children. We also find a strong association with race: black children, relative to white or Hispanic children, are more impatient. Finally, assignment to different schooling opportunities is not significantly associated with child time preferences.

JEL-codes: C9 C93 D03 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp, nep-ltv, nep-neu, nep-upt and nep-war
Note: PE
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (38)

Published as James Andreoni & Michael A. Kuhn & John A. List & Anya Samek & Kevin Sokal & Charles Sprenger, 2019. "Toward an understanding of the development of time preferences: Evidence from field experiments," Journal of Public Economics, vol 177.

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