Mental Accounting of Time Versus Money

We introduce the notion that costs and benefits can occur either in the same “accounting period” or in different periods. Our key argument is that monetary costs are tracked across accounting periods but temporal costs are written off at the end of the period in which they are incurred. Consequently, accounting periods lead to a time-money asymmetry in the tracking of costs and also in the likelihood of seeking benefits. In two laboratory studies, one online-panel study, and one field study with movie-theater patrons, we find support for this asymmetric effect and for the underlying process of fungibility differences.


Robin L. Soster, Ashwani Monga, and William O. Bearden (2011) ,"Mental Accounting of Time Versus Money", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9, eds. Alan Bradshaw, Chris Hackley, and Pauline Maclaran, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 547-548.


Robin L. Soster, University of South Carolina, USA
Ashwani Monga, University of South Carolina, USA
William O. Bearden, University of South Carolina, USA


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9 | 2011

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