We received valuable comments from the editor Frederic Vermeulen, two anonymous referees, Anders Björklund, Thomas Dohmen, Erik Grönqvist, Markus Jäntti, Erica Lindahl, Matthew Lindquist, Anders Stenberg, Bas ter Weel, conference participants of the 2011 ESPE, the 2012 ESSLE and the 2013 SOLE meetings and seminar participants at the Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy (IFAU). Golsteyn thanks the Volkswagen Stiftung and Handelsbanken's forskningsstiftelser for financial support; Grönqvist acknowledges funding from FAS and Handelsbanken's forskningsstiftelser; Lindahl thanks FAS and IFAU for financing part of this research. The programmes for replicating the results in this study are available online.
Adolescent Time Preferences Predict Lifetime Outcomes
Article first published online: 14 MAR 2014
© 2013 Royal Economic Society
The Economic Journal
Volume 124, Issue 580, pages F739–F761, November 2014
How to Cite
Golsteyn, B. H.H., Grönqvist, H. and Lindahl, L. (2014), Adolescent Time Preferences Predict Lifetime Outcomes. The Economic Journal, 124: F739–F761. doi: 10.1111/ecoj.12095
- Issue published online: 4 NOV 2014
- Article first published online: 14 MAR 2014
- Accepted manuscript online: 9 OCT 2013 11:57AM EST
- Handelsbanken's forskningsstiftelser
This study investigates the relationship between time preferences and lifetime social and economic outcomes. We use a Swedish longitudinal data set that links information from a large survey on children's time preferences at age 13 to administrative registers spanning over five decades. Our results indicate a substantial adverse relationship between high discount rates and school performance, health, labour supply and lifetime income. Males and high-ability children gain significantly more from being future oriented. These discrepancies are largest regarding outcomes later in life. We also show that the relationship between time preferences and long-run outcomes operates through early human capital investments.