Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/93485
Authors: 
Kuhn, Michael A.
Kuhn, Peter
Villeval, Marie Claire
Year of Publication: 
2014
Series/Report no.: 
CESifo Working Paper 4609
Abstract: 
Recent developments in economic theory model intertemporal choice decisions as problems of restraining one's natural impulse to consume today. We use interventions that have been shown in the psychology literature to affect impulse control to examine whether this is indeed the case for laboratory elicitations of time preference. In other words, is savings behavior affected by manipulations of willpower? Our results are mixed, with one widely used willpower-reducing intervention increasing subjects' savings, and with evidence of a substantial placebo effects with respect to another intervention based on sugared beverage consumption. Since all our treatment effects which are substantial in magnitude are driven by increases in the intertemporal substitution elasticity (i.e. greater sensitivity to high prices), we suspect that the primary mechanism behind them is an increase in subjects' attention to the decision, rather than their ability to resist the temptation to get money sooner.
Subjects: 
time preferences
self-control
depletion
sucrose
experiment
JEL: 
C91
D90
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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