Time Discounting: Delay Effect and Procrastinating Behavior

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  This paper pursues two aims by conducting economic experiments in Shanghai. One aim of this paper is to investigate the following three anomalies on time discounting: the delay, interval, and magnitude effects. We confirmed all the three anomalies. Particularly, by separating the delay effect from the interval effect, the delay effect is found when the delay is relatively short, which has seldom been reported in former studies. Another feature of our experiment is that it is immune to the criticism that the subjects recruited for the experiment did not have sufficient incentives to report their true preferences because the highest reward that was offered to the subjects was approximately equivalent to their monthly household incomes. The second aim of this paper is its explanation of the subjects’ procrastinating behaviors by their time discount rates and the degrees of the delay effect. Our analysis suggested that higher time discounting always promotes procrastination; however, the delay effect is negatively associated with procrastination. An interpretation of the latter result can be that our subjects, i.e., the students of Fudan University, are <I>sophisticates </I>rather than <I>naïfs</I>.


  • Journal of Behavioral Economics and Finance

    Journal of Behavioral Economics and Finance 5(0), 15-25, 2012

    Association of Behavioral Economics and Finance


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