Constant and decreasing timing aversion for saving lives

John Cairns, Marjon Pol van der

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


The traditional model of time preferences employed by economists is characterised by constant timing aversion. The available evidence suggests that this is not an appropriate assumption. This paper examines evidence for constant and decreasing timing aversion with respect to saving lives. Three discounting models are considered: the constant discounting model; the proportional discounting model; and the hyperbolic discounting model. Data collected from the general public are used to test the constant timing aversion model. Overall, the findings suggest that there is substantial evidence for decreasing timing aversion and against the constant timing aversion hypothesis. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1653-1659
Number of pages7
JournalSocial Science & Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1997


  • discounting
  • future lives saved
  • time preference
  • future
  • health


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