Resource Slack and Propensity to Discount Delayed Investments of Time Versus Money

58 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2004  

Gal Zauberman

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department

John G. Lynch

University of Colorado-Boulder, Leeds School of Business - Center for Research on Consumer Financial Decision Making

Date Written: October 14, 2004

Abstract

We demonstrate that people discount delayed task outcomes due to perceived changes over time in supplies of slack. Slack is the perceived surplus of a given resource available to complete a focal task. For temporally near events, investing a resource for one purpose may cause one to fail to attain other short-term goals requiring the same resource, but only if little slack exists. If people foresee less resource competition in the future, they will appear to discount that resource steeply. We use this framework to explain differential propensity to delay investments of time and money. In seven experiments, we demonstrate that systematic temporal shifts of perceived slack determine the extent and the pattern of delay discounting.

Keywords: Time, intetemporal choice, hyperbolic discounting

JEL Classification: D9, M0, M3

Suggested Citation

Zauberman, Gal and Lynch, John G., Resource Slack and Propensity to Discount Delayed Investments of Time Versus Money (October 14, 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=502586 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.502586

Gal Zauberman (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department ( email )

700 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
3730 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6340
United States

John G. Lynch

University of Colorado-Boulder, Leeds School of Business - Center for Research on Consumer Financial Decision Making ( email )

Leeds School of Business
Boulder, CO 80309-0419
United States
919-971-5201 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.colorado.edu/business/john-g-lynch-jr

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
179
rank
151,352
Abstract Views
2,616
PlumX