Patience and Principles

13 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2016 Last revised: 2 Mar 2016

See all articles by William J. Luther

William J. Luther

Florida Atlantic University; American Institute for Economic Research

Date Written: February 25, 2016


I estimate discount rates for 73 students across three sections of Principles of Macroeconomics at Kenyon College in the Spring 2015 semester. I find that a representative student with a discount rate one standard deviation above the mean earns roughly 2.28 fewer percentage points in the course than the average student. While the magnitude of the effect is small, the result is significant and remains so even after controlling for other observables.

Keywords: Macroeconomics, Discount Rate, Grades, Patience, Time Preference

JEL Classification: A1, A22

Suggested Citation

Luther, William J., Patience and Principles (February 25, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

William J. Luther (Contact Author)

Florida Atlantic University ( email )

777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431
United States


American Institute for Economic Research ( email )

PO Box 1000
Great Barrington, MA 01230
United States


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