Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/222098
Authors: 
Falk, Armin
Hermle, Johannes
Sunde, Uwe
Year of Publication: 
2019
Series/Report no.: 
Discussion Paper No. 201
Abstract: 
Why does patience vary across individuals and countries? We provide evidence on a widely-hypothesized mechanism, namely that higher longevity fosters patience. Using data on patience for 80,000 individuals in 76 countries, this paper relates exogenous variation in longevity across gender-age-country cells to variation in patience. We find that a ten-year increase in life expectancy implies a 5-percentage point higher discount factor. This relationship emerges for various sub-samples and is unaffected by other determinants including lifetime experiences regarding economic development, institutional quality, or violence. We provide a model to discuss the implications for the emergence of poverty traps.
Subjects: 
Time Preferences
Mortality
Poverty Traps
JEL: 
D10
J10
O10
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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