Is the Evidence for Hyperbolic Discounting in Humans just an Experimental Artefact?

Glenn W. Harrison, Morten Lau

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debateResearchpeer-review


We question the behavioral premise underlying Ainslie's claims about hyperbolic discounting theory. The alleged evidence for humans can be easily explained as an artefact of experimental procedures that do not control for the credibility of payment over different time horizons. In appropriately controlled and financially motivated settings, human behavior is consistent with conventional exponential preferences.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBehavioral and Brain Sciences
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)657
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

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