Valuing future benefits


  • John A. Cairns

    Corresponding author
    1. Health Economics Research Unit, University of Aberdeen
    • Director, Health Economics Research Unit. Department of Public Health, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, Aberdeen, AB9 2ZD, Scotland
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This paper reports the results of a study of time preference amongst the general public in the Grampian region of Scotland. The subjects, who were selected randomly from the electoral roll, were offered a series of inter-temporal choices. Their responses were used to calculate private financial time preference rates, social non-monetary time preference rates and social financial time preference rates. The paper investigates the relationship between these three measures of time preference in both the short and the long run. It also explores the effects of individual characteristics, including age, and health, on the implicit discount rates.