LA ECONOMÍA DE LA PREFERENCIA TEMPORAL INDIVIDUAL. JUSTIFICACIONES TEÓRICAS Y RESULTADOS EMPÍRICOS
Angelina Lázaro Alquézar
Ramón Barberán Ortí
Individual behaviour with respect to time has received the attention of economists since the beginnings of the nineteenth century and, against this background, the aim of this work is to review the literature on the economics of time preference from both the theoretical and applied points of view. The study covers the period from the origins of how the problem was first considered until the present day and has been organised around a chronological and functional scheme. We differentiate two stages in the development of the theoretical literature, namely the descriptive or intuitive economics of time preference and the operative or rational economics. Special attention is paid to a review of the most recent empirical studies, which are little known to economists. In this regard, the work goes beyond that which has been accomplished by the literature under review, both with respect to the systemisation of the anomalies of the discounted utility model and in the pairing of empirical regularities with the axioms of that model. The patterns of behaviour obtained contradict the normative requirements of orthodox economic theory and, surprisingly, demonstrate that individual behaviour is closer to the interpretations offered by the early economists. Thus, the validity of the conventional model used to represent the inter-temporal time preferences of individuals is questioned, thereby making clear the need for economists to dedicate greater efforts to the search for alternatives. Key words: Classification-JEL : D91, D61.
Time preference, Discount rate, Discounted utility model, Anomalies.
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