Waiting to Choose: The Role of Deliberation in Intertemporal Choice

51 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2016

See all articles by Alex Imas

Alex Imas

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Michael Kuhn

University of Oregon - Department of Economics

Vera Mironova

Harvard University

Date Written: November 3, 2016

Abstract

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

Imas, Alex and Kuhn, Michael and Mironova, Vera, Waiting to Choose: The Role of Deliberation in Intertemporal Choice (November 3, 2016). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6162, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2880386

Alex Imas (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Michael Kuhn

University of Oregon - Department of Economics ( email )

Eugene, OR 97403
United States

HOME PAGE: http://pages.uoregon.edu/mkuhn

Vera Mironova

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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