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Spreading academic pay over nine or twelve months: economists are supposed to know better, but do they act better?

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Our article empirically considers two general hypotheses related to the literature of behavioural economics. First, we test the null hypothesis that individuals behave, on average, in a manner more consistent with the rational expectations hypothesis than with the idea of self-control in the face of hyperbolic discounting in their saving decisions. Second, along a variety of dimensions, we examine whether individuals exhibit Herbert Simon's notion that the goal formation of individuals will differ depending upon their relative levels of experience and knowledge. Perhaps there are significant differences among groups in their saving decisions that depend upon their apparent levels of intelligence, education and knowledge. Finally, using a variety of individual-specific control variables, we test for robustness of the results.

Keywords: D11; D12; D91; consumer economics; empirical analysis; life cycle models and saving

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: School of Business,Henderson State University, HSU Box 7890, 1100 Henderson StreetArkadelphia,AR 71999-0001, USA 2: Wintrust Financial Corporation, 9700 West Higgins Road, 4th FloorRosemont,IL 60018, USA 3: Wells Fargo Advisors LLC, 2025 E. Beltline Ave SE Suite 501Grand Rapids,MI 49546, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2013

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