Possibility of Dying as a Unified Explanation of Why We Discount the Future, Get Weaker with Age, and Display Risk‐Aversion

6 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2011

See all articles by Bhagwan Chowdhry

Bhagwan Chowdhry

UCLA Anderson; Indian School of Business

Date Written: October 2011

Abstract

I formulate a simple and parsimonious evolutionary model that shows that because most species face a possibility of dying because of external factors, called extrinsic mortality in the biology literature, it can simultaneously explain (a) why we discount the future, (b) get weaker with age, and (c) display risk‐aversion. The paper suggests that testable restrictions - across species, across time, or across genders - among time preference, aging, and risk‐aversion could be analyzed in a simple framework.

JEL Classification: A10, D90

Suggested Citation

Chowdhry, Bhagwan, Possibility of Dying as a Unified Explanation of Why We Discount the Future, Get Weaker with Age, and Display Risk‐Aversion (October 2011). Economic Inquiry, Vol. 49, Issue 4, pp. 1098-1103, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1931346 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1465-7295.2009.00271.x

Bhagwan Chowdhry (Contact Author)

UCLA Anderson ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://bit.ly/bhagwanUCLA

Indian School of Business ( email )

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India

HOME PAGE: http://bit.ly/bhagwanUCLA

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