A Gender Difference in Time Consistency
Indiana University - Kelley School of Business
Daniel L. Shawhan
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Cornell University
October 27, 2009
In an experiment using real money, we test whether the incidence of time inconsistency differs between males and females. The experiment provides strong evidence of time-inconsistency among males, but no evidence of such behavior among females. We also find that men’s time inconsistency is such that, relative to women, their propensity to choose the “patient” option in a decision between two income streams depends on how far in advance the decision is made. These findings may have important implications for policy and business strategy, and may help explain why prior research measuring gender differences in patience levels has been largely inconclusive.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 18
Keywords: Time consistency, Inter-temporal discounting, Gender
JEL Classification: D12, D14, D91, J16working papers series
Date posted: July 26, 2007 ; Last revised: October 29, 2009
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