The Value of Nothing: Asymmetric Attention to Opportunity Costs Drives Intertemporal Decision Making

@article{Read2017TheVO,
  title={The Value of Nothing: Asymmetric Attention to Opportunity Costs Drives Intertemporal Decision Making},
  author={Daniel Read and Christopher Y. Olivola and David J. Hardisty},
  journal={Management Science},
  year={2017},
  volume={63},
  pages={4277-4297}
}
This paper proposes a novel account of why intertemporal decisions tend to display impatience: People pay more attention to the opportunity costs of choosing larger, later rewards than to the opportunity costs of choosing smaller, sooner ones. Eight studies show that when the opportunity costs of choosing smaller, sooner rewards are subtly highlighted, people become more patient, whereas highlighting the opportunity costs of choosing larger, later rewards has no effect. This pattern is robust… CONTINUE READING
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