Time Preference and Health: An Exploratory Study

42 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2002 Last revised: 7 Feb 2011

See all articles by Victor R. Fuchs

Victor R. Fuchs

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: August 1980

Abstract

This paper reports the results of an exploratory survey designed to measure differences in time preference across individuals and to test for relationships between time preference and schooling, health behaviors, and health status. Approximately 500 adults age 25-64 were surveyed by telephone. Time preference was measured by a series of six questions asking the respondent to choose between a sum of money now and a larger sum at a specific point in the future. Approximately two-thirds gave consistent replies to the six questions. The implicit interest rate revealed in their replies is weakly correlated with years of schooling (negative), cigarette smoking (positive), and health status(negative). Family background, especially religion, appears to be an important determinant of time preference.

Suggested Citation

Fuchs, Victor R., Time Preference and Health: An Exploratory Study (August 1980). NBER Working Paper No. w0539. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=263415

Victor R. Fuchs (Contact Author)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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