Respondents with discount rates more than one standard deviation above the average of the sample had 29% less net wealth, a loss of around $130,000. More impatient people—similarly controlling for religion, income, race, sex, optimism and education—were more likely to smoke, drink excessively, and miss out on their flu shots and medical examinations.
The study, carried out with David Huffman from University of Pittsburgh, also found whites’ discount rates were systematically 11% lower than nonwhites’. An extra year of education inculcated a 2 percentage-point reduction in discount rates.
Time horizons! Still want to see a research paper map discount rates to political orientation.