The origins of patience

The rate of time preference or in other words long-term orientation has been found to be an important determinant of human behavior. Generally, it is associated with better educational outcomes, and even better physical and emotional health. On an aggregate level it can affect differences in GDP across countries.

This post presents a new paper that asks how differences in time preference arose. Clearly, we see substantial variation in time preference across countries, so the question is what caused this.

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