CeDEx
Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics
   
   
  

CeDEx 2014-06: Evolution of similarity judgements in intertemporal choice

Abstract

We study Nature's trade-off when endowing people with the cognitive ability to distinguish between different time periods or different prizes. Our key premise is that cognitive ability is a scarce resource, to be deployed only where and when it really matters. We show that this simple insight can explain a number of observed anomalies: (i) time preference reversal, (ii) magnitude effects, (iii) cycles, (iv) interval length effects. An implication of our analysis is that, from an evolutionary perspective, people may be suffering from too much tendency to postpone (rather than to anticipate) consumption, turning upside-down existing interpretations of preference reversal.

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Authors

Fabrizio Adriani and Silvia Sonderegger

 

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Posted on Thursday 1st May 2014

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