“The language of Impatience: When do Grammatical Cues Impact Intertemporal Decisions” by Professor Oleg Urminsky
Professor Oleg Urminsky
Professor of Marketing
Booth School of Business
University of Chicago
Building on the Chen (2013) analysis of cross-country savings rates and linguistic differences, we investigate the effect of manipulating verb tense within a single language on intertemporal tradeoffs. Verb tense (e.g., describing options in present vs. future tense) can significantly affect choices between a smaller and a larger reward. However, this occurs only in the complete absence of timing cues and when differences in reward amounts are small, and is eliminated by introducing even vague time cues that do not communicate relative timing.