Sunday, October 18, 2009

Time preferences: a role for birth order effects?

There are zillions of papers on birth order effects. A possible effect on time preference is an interesting possibility:

Sibling and birth-order effects on time-preferences and real-life decisions Lampi, Elina & Nordblom, Katarina

Survey data is used to investigate whether siblings and birth order can explain differences in stated time preferences and in some real-life decisions of intertemporal nature, namely whether one obtains a university education, whether one moves in with a partner at an early age, and when one has children. We also study earnings. Middleborns are found to be the least patient in terms of stated time preferences. First-borns, on the other hand, are more patient in real-life decisions than later-borns: they are more likely to obtain a university education and have higher earnings. Interestingly, those who have siblings but did not grow up with them are the least patient in family related real-life decisions. We also find that the more siblings one grew up with, the more impatient one is in the studied real-life decisions.

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