The Network for Integrated Behavioural Science  
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We elicit individual measures of patience by applying the new Preference for Earlier versus Later Income (PELI) scale for more than 50,000 individuals from 65 countries who took the Gallup End of Year Survey. This simple to apply measure is highly correlated with alternative measures that are more costly to elicit. We find that, within countries, individuals in the richest income quintile are equally patient at any age while individuals in the poorest quintile are less patient the older they are. The age-patience relationships in the other income quintiles are distributed in an orderly manner between these extremes. We suggest that either lower income leads individuals to be less patient as they age, or that less patient individuals move downwards in the income rank as they age. We find that non religious, optimistic, happy and educated individuals are more patient. Female, unemployed, ``retired or disabled'' individuals, and those who have low confidence in vaccine effectiveness, tend to be less patient. We aggregate our individual measures of patience to derive a national patience index that correlates with national characteristics linked to economic development and with cultural features that are widely considered to be associated with patience. We recommend the adoption of the PELI in international surveys.

Details: SSRN Working Paper

Authors:   Giovanni Burro, Rebecca McDonald, Daniel Read, Umar Taj



Posted on Wednesday 22nd July 2020

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