This study compares discounting for money and health in a field study. We applied the direct method, which measures discounting independent of utility, in a representative French sample, interviewed at home by professional interviewers. We found more discounting for money than for health. The median discount rates (6.5% for money and 2.2% for health) were close to market interest rates, suggesting that at the aggregate level the direct method solves the puzzle of unrealistically high discount rates typically observed in applied economics. Constant discounting fitted the data better than the hyperbolic discounting models that we considered. The substantial individual heterogeneity in discounting was correlated with age and occupation.

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Journal of Risk and Uncertainty
Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM)

Attema, A., Bleichrodt, H., L’Haridon, O. (Olivier), Peretti-Watel, P. (Patrick), & Seror, V. (Valérie). (2018). Discounting health and money: New evidence using a more robust method. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 56(2), 117–140. doi:10.1007/s11166-018-9279-1