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  • 5 Replies
    I very much like Mr. Linde and John's expression of exasperation with some of modern economists' use of what is essentially a tool.  Not to read too much into Max's use of the term, but some economists seem to think that if you can model it, it exists, or the results prove something.  The current example (50 now or 55 later) and the commenters' reaction to it of...
  • 5 Replies
    Thanks for the thoughtful comments. I'll just point out that "now is better than later" is simply discounting. Hyperbolic discounting means there's an additional bonus to *today*. The key here is that the agent can plan for tomorrow, but then wake up tomorrow, which becomes today, and not follow through. Thus, I can plan to quit smoking tomorrow and want...
  • 5 Replies
    John,

    That's impression that I had as well.  That hyperbolic discounting is a fancy way of saying that too many people put immediate gratification ahead of delayed reward and we are too shortsighted to know and do what is really in our best long term interest.  In essence, we are child-like automatons (probably needing some higher authority like the gove...
  • 5 Replies
    I believe it was Max who presented some information on "hyperbolic discounting" several months ago.  At first take, I thought it was a fitting term to describe a phenomenon we're all familiar with but one that has not yet been labeled.  I discussed it with my family, who quickly raised a fundamental question with this term.  Is it just describing an event (...
  • 5 Replies
    In the first example given, is the economist really measuring hyperbolic discounting or common sense?  My immediate response was to take the 50 euros now instead of waiting a year and getting 55 euros then.  My thought process went like this..  First, you are just going to give me 50 euros for doing nothing?  I am thinking you are a fool and may come to your s...

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