Psychological and biological foundations of time preference

Michael Daly, Colm P Harmon, Liam Delaney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


This paper considers the relationship between the economic concept of time preference and relevant concepts from psychology and biology. Using novel data from a time diary study conducted in Ireland that combined detailed psychometric testing with medical testing and real-time bio-tracking, we examine the extent to which individual differences in financial discounting are related to underlying biological and psychological differences. The paper finds that financial discounting is related to a range of psychological variables including consideration of future consequences, self-control, conscientiousness, extraversion, and experiential avoidance, as well as being predicted by heart rate variability and blood pressure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-669
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the European Economic Association
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009


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