Adolescent time preferences predict lifetime outcomes

B.H.H. Golsteyn, H. Grönqvist, L. Lindahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This study investigates the relationship between time preferences and lifetime social and economic outcomes. We use a Swedish longitudinal data set that links information from a large survey on children's time preferences at age 13 to administrative registers spanning over five decades. Our results indicate a substantial adverse relationship between high discount rates and school performance, health, labour supply and lifetime income. Males and high-ability children gain significantly more from being future oriented. These discrepancies are largest regarding outcomes later in life. We also show that the relationship between time preferences and long-run outcomes operates through early human capital investments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)F739-F761
Number of pages23
JournalThe Economic Journal
Volume124
Issue number580
Early online date14 Mar 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014

Keywords

  • PRESCHOOL DELAY
  • BEHAVIOR
  • IMPATIENCE
  • GRATIFICATION
  • ASSOCIATION
  • ABILITIES
  • DECISIONS
  • CHILDREN
  • HEALTH
  • INCOME

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