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Time Inconsistency, Expectations and Technology Adoption: The Case of Insecticide Treated Nets

61 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2011  

Alessandro Tarozzi

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Aprajit Mahajan

Stanford University; University of California, Berkeley - Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: March 2, 2011

Abstract

Economists have recently argued that time inconsistency may play a central role in explaining inter-temporal behavior, particularly among poor households. However, time-preference parameters are typically not identified in standard dynamic choice models and little is known about the fraction of inconsistent agents in the population. We formulate a dynamic discrete choice model in an unobservedly heterogeneous population of possibly time-inconsistent agents motivated by specifically collected information combined with a field intervention in rural India. We identify and estimate all time-preference parameters as well as the population fractions of time-consistent and naive and sophisticated time-inconsistent agents. We estimate that time-inconsistent agents account for more than half of the population and that sophisticated inconsistent agents are considerably more present-biased than their naive counterparts. We also examine whether there are other differences across types (e.g. in risk and cost preferences) and find that these differences are small relative to the differences in time preferences.

Keywords: Malaria, Expectations, Bednets, Identi cation, Dynamic Programming, Discrete Choice, Time Inconsistency

JEL Classification: I1, I3

Suggested Citation

Tarozzi, Alessandro and Mahajan, Aprajit, Time Inconsistency, Expectations and Technology Adoption: The Case of Insecticide Treated Nets (March 2, 2011). Economic Research Initiatives at Duke (ERID) Working Paper No. 105. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1881106

Aprajit Mahajan

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics ( email )

Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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