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Meta-Analysis of Present-Bias Estimation using Convex Time Budgets

Imai, Taisuke and Rutter, Tom A. and Camerer, Colin F. (2021) Meta-Analysis of Present-Bias Estimation using Convex Time Budgets. Economic Journal, 131 (636). pp. 1788-1814. ISSN 0013-0133. doi:10.1093/ej/ueaa115.

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We examine 220 estimates of the present-bias parameter from 28 articles using the Convex Time Budget protocol. The literature shows that people are on average present-biased, but estimates exhibit substantial heterogeneity across studies. There is evidence of modest selective reporting in the direction of over-reporting present bias. The primary source of heterogeneity is the type of reward, either monetary or non-monetary, but this effect is weakened after correcting for selective reporting. In studies using monetary rewards, the delay until the issue of the reward associated with the ‘current’ time period influences estimates of the present-bias parameter.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Imai, Taisuke0000-0002-0610-8093
Camerer, Colin F.0000-0003-4049-1871
Additional Information:© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Economic Society. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. This paper was received on 23 July 2019 and accepted on 15 September 2020. Published: 29 September 2020. The Editor was Rachel Kranton. The data and codes for this paper are available on the Journal website. They were checked for their ability to reproduce the results presented in the paper. This is a part of the project ‘A Large-Scale, Interdisciplinary Meta-Analysis on Behavioral Economics Parameters’ supported by the Social Science Meta-Analysis and Research Transparency (SSMART) Grants from Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS). We thank Stefano DellaVigna, Tomáš Havránek, Yves Le Yaouanq, Peter Schwardmann, Charles Sprenger, Tom Stanley, the editor and the two anonymous referees for helpful comments. We are also grateful for the feedback provided by numerous seminar audiences at MAER-Net Colloquium 2019, CESifo Area Conference on Behavioural Economics 2019 and the European Winter Meeting of the Econometric Society 2019. Imai acknowledges financial support by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft through CRC TRR 190. Rutter acknowledges the support of the 2016 SURF Fellowship from the California Institute of Technology. This research was approved under Caltech IRB Number 16-0665.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS)UNSPECIFIED
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)CRC TRR 190
Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:present bias, structural behavioral economics, meta-analysis, selective reporting
Issue or Number:636
Classification Code:JEL: C91 - Laboratory, Individual Behavior; D90 - General
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200117-112420357
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Official Citation:Taisuke Imai, Tom A Rutter, Colin F Camerer, Meta-Analysis of Present-Bias Estimation using Convex Time Budgets, The Economic Journal, Volume 131, Issue 636, May 2021, Pages 1788–1814,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:100794
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:17 Jan 2020 20:18
Last Modified:07 May 2021 17:30

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