Time Consistency: Stationarity and Time Invariance

Yoram Halevy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


A sequence of experiments documents static and dynamic "preference reversals" between sooner-smaller and later-larger rewards, when the sooner reward could be immediate. The theoretically motivated design permits separate identification of time consistent, stationary, and time invariant choices. At least half of the subjects are time consistent, but only three-quarters of them exhibit stationary choices. About half of subjects with time inconsistent choices have stationary preferences. These results challenge the view that present-bias preferences are the main source of time inconsistent choices.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)335-352
Number of pages18
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 The Econometric Society.


  • Diminishing impatiences
  • Intertemporal preferences
  • Time discounting


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