Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Time Preference and the Process of Civilization

Howden, David and Kampe, Joakim (2016): Time Preference and the Process of Civilization. Published in: International Journal of Social Economics , Vol. 4, No. 43 (2016): pp. 382-399.

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We begin with an admittedly simplistic statement: “civilization” is best represented by the increased availability of utility providing goods and services. In other words, civilization is synonymous with economic development. This paper concerns three questions. First, how does civilization develop? Second, what is time preference and how does it affect the development of civilization, or what we may call the “process of civilization.” Third, what factors affect time preference, and how do changes in time preference affect this civilizing process? Through these three questions, we provide the theoretical why civilization developed, instead of the more common historical how civilization actually developed.

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