When I’M 64: Temporal Referencing and Discount Rates

Shane Frederick, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Daniel Read, London School of Economics, UK
Robyn LeBoeuf, University of Florida
We examine the effect of “temporal referencing” on discount rates. We show that respondents exhibit much lower discount rates when the timing of a future reward is indexed by the corresponding age (“when you are 47”) than when it is indexed by the length of the intervening time period (“in 10 years”). This framing effect is shown to be especially large among younger people and to gradually diminish with age. We discuss the implications for the marketing of financial instruments.
[ to cite ]:
Shane Frederick, Daniel Read, and Robyn LeBoeuf (2008) ,"When I’M 64: Temporal Referencing and Discount Rates", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 55-58.