Patience Decreases With Age for the Poor but Not for the Rich: An International Comparison

68 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2020 Last revised: 26 Oct 2021

See all articles by Giovanni Burro

Giovanni Burro

Bocconi University and IGIER

Rebecca McDonald

University of Birmingham

Daniel Read

University of Warwick - Warwick Business School

Umar Taj

University of Warwick - Warwick Business School

Date Written: July 16, 2021

Abstract

We introduce the Preference for Earlier versus Later Income (PELI) scale, measuring
patience for over 50,000 individuals from 65 countries. We focus on the relationship between age and income on patience, two variables that have been widely studied in isolation. We find that, within countries, individuals in the richest income quintile are equally patient at any age while individuals in the poorest quintile are less patient the older they are. The relationships in the other
quintiles are distributed in an orderly manner between these extremes. We derive a
national patience index that correlates with characteristics linked to economic
development, with cultural differences associated with patience, and with alternative
more complex measures of patience. We recommend adopting PELI in international
surveys.

Keywords: Time Discounting, Aging, Income, World

JEL Classification: D15, D50, D90

Suggested Citation

Burro, Giovanni and McDonald, Rebecca and Read, Daniel and Taj, Umar, Patience Decreases With Age for the Poor but Not for the Rich: An International Comparison (July 16, 2021). Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3649102 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3649102

Giovanni Burro

Bocconi University and IGIER ( email )

via Roentgen 1
Milano, Milano 20136
Italy

Rebecca McDonald

University of Birmingham

Edgbaston, B15 2TT
United Kingdom

Daniel Read (Contact Author)

University of Warwick - Warwick Business School ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

Umar Taj

University of Warwick - Warwick Business School ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
142
Abstract Views
858
rank
279,269
PlumX Metrics