We investigate dynamically inconsistent time preferences across contexts with and without interpersonal trade-offs. In a longitudinal experiment participants make a series of intertemporal allocation decisions of real-effort tasks between themselves and another person. Our results reveal that agents are present-biased when making choices that only affect themselves but not when choosing for others. Despite this asymmetry, we find no evidence for time-inconsistent generosity, i.e., when choices involve trade-offs between own and other's consumption. Structural estimations reveal no individual-level correlation of present bias across contexts. Discounting in social situations thus seems to be conceptually different from discounting in individual situations.
Present bias altruism stability real effort dictator game intertemporal choice