Waiting to Choose: The Role of Deliberation in Intertemporal Choice
51 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2016
Date Written: November 3, 2016
We study the impact of deliberation on intertemporal choices. Using multiple experiments, including a field study in the Democratic Republic of Congo, we show that the introduction of waiting periods—a policy that temporally separate information about choices from choices themselves—cause substantially less myopic decisions. These results cannot be captured by models of exponential discounting nor present bias. Comparing the effects of waiting periods to making planned choices over future time periods, the former has a larger impact on reducing myopia. Our results highlight the role of deliberation in decision-making and have implications for policy and intervention design.
Keywords: time preferences, waiting periods, heuristics, deliberation, field experiments
JEL Classification: D030, D900, C910, C930
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation