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Predicting life outcomes with automatic thinking measures in a marginalized population

Lia Q. Flores and Julian Jamison

No 1005, Economics Series Working Papers from University of Oxford, Department of Economics

Abstract: Automatic thinking conditions decisions with intertemporal trade-offs which can matter greatly for life outcomes. Systematically choosing immediate gratification may result in different forms of antisocial behavior and also damage one’s economic circumstances. Based on a dataset of almost 1000 Liberian men over the course of one year, we evaluate the predictive power of three proxies of automatic thinking that have been used in different branches of the behavioral science literature: time preferences, executive function and self-control. We find that time preference is a robust predictor of both antisocial behavior and economic performance. Self-control only reliably predicts antisocial behavior, while executive function predicts neither significantly.

Date: 2023-03-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-evo and nep-neu
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