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How Time Preferences Differ: Evidence from 45 Countries


Hens, Thorsten; Rieger, Marc; Wang, Mei (2009). How Time Preferences Differ: Evidence from 45 Countries. Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper 09-47, University of Zurich.

Abstract

We present results from the first large-scale international survey on time discounting, conducted in 45 countries. Cross-country variation cannot simply be explained by economic variables such as interest rates or inflation. In particular, we find strong evidence for cultural differences, as measured by the Hofstede cultural dimensions. For example, high levels of Uncertainty Avoidance or Individualism are both associated with strong hyperbolic discounting. Moreover, as application of our data, we find evidence for an impact of time preferences on the capability of technological innovations in a country and on environmental protection.

Abstract

We present results from the first large-scale international survey on time discounting, conducted in 45 countries. Cross-country variation cannot simply be explained by economic variables such as interest rates or inflation. In particular, we find strong evidence for cultural differences, as measured by the Hofstede cultural dimensions. For example, high levels of Uncertainty Avoidance or Individualism are both associated with strong hyperbolic discounting. Moreover, as application of our data, we find evidence for an impact of time preferences on the capability of technological innovations in a country and on environmental protection.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Banking and Finance
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:05 May 2014 15:58
Last Modified:18 Mar 2022 10:47
Series Name:Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Official URL. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1481443
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:6004

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