The Agricultural Origins of Time Preference

107 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2014 Last revised: 19 Aug 2016

See all articles by Oded Galor

Oded Galor

Brown University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Ömer Özak

Southern Methodist University - Department of Economics; IZA

Multiple version iconThere are 5 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 17, 2016

Abstract

This research explores the origins of observed differences in time preference across countries and regions. Exploiting a natural experiment associated with the expansion of suitable crops for cultivation in the course of the Columbian Exchange, the research establishes that pre-industrial agro-climatic characteristics that were conducive to higher return to agricultural investment, triggered selection, adaptation and learning processes that generated a persistent positive effect on the prevalence of long-term orientation in the contemporary era. Furthermore, the research establishes that these agro-climatic characteristics have had a culturally embodied impact on economic behavior such as technological adoption, education, saving, and smoking.

Keywords: Time preference, Delayed Gratification, Cultural Evolution, Economic Development, Comparative Development, Human Capital, Education, Saving, Smoking

JEL Classification: D14, D90, E21, I12, I25, J24, J26, O10, O33, O40, Z1

Suggested Citation

Galor, Oded and Özak, Ömer, The Agricultural Origins of Time Preference (August 17, 2016). American Economic Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2486206 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2486206

Oded Galor

Brown University - Department of Economics ( email )

Providence, RI 02912
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.brown.edu/fac/Oded_Galor/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.brown.edu/fac/Oded_Galor/

Ömer Özak (Contact Author)

Southern Methodist University - Department of Economics ( email )

Dallas, TX 75275
United States
+1-214-768-2755 (Phone)
+1-214-768-1821 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://omerozak.com

IZA

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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