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A general theory of time discounting: The reference-time theory of intertemporal choice
reportposted on 2010-02-25, 13:21 authored by Ali al-Nowaihi, Sanjit Dhami
We develop a general theory of intertemporal choice: the reference-time theory, RT. RT is a synthesis of ideas from the hyperbolic model and subadditivity of time discounting. These models are extended to allow for a reference point for time as well as wealth. RT is able to account for all the 6 main anomalies of time discount-ing: gain-loss asymmetry, magnitude effect, common difference effect, delay-speedup asymmetry, apparent intransitivity of time preferences, and non-additivity of time discounting. We provide a class of utility functions compatible with RT. We show how RT can be extended to incorporate uncertainty and attribute models of in-tertemporal choice.