Pure and Impure Time Preferences

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This paper investigates two assumptions of the exponential discounted utility theory (EDU) to which Callender draws our attention: namely that we can cleanly distinguish pure from impure temporal preferences, and that past discounting can be ignored. Drawing on recent empirical work in this area, we argue that insofar as one might have thought that past-directed preferences are more pure than future ones, then there is evidence that people’s pure preferences (insofar as we can make sense of that notion) show more interpersonal variation than has previously been thought.
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Archival date: 2022-07-31
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