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Income inequality

behavioural economics

Act now, or act later?

The costs and benefits of many real-world decisions happen in different time periods. Jon Guest explores what we mean when we talk about ‘present bias’

Can behavioural economics explain your revision habits?

Think about how you plan your exam preparation, and how you consider the costs and benefits of this important activity. You might put in the effort to revise in the next few days and weeks, all the while knowing that the benefits (better grades, a place at a better university and/or a better job) will occur in future months and years. With other decisions, the benefits occur before the costs, e.g. eating unhealthy food.

In both of these situations, evidence suggests that the majority of people are impatient most of the time — they weight a cost or benefit that occurs tomorrow more heavily than ones that occur next week or month.

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Income inequality

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