Discounting the Value of Commodities According to Different Types of Cost

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper reviews three variables that can be viewed as imposing a cost on the acquisition of a commodity. It also examines the discounting that occurs when costs other than delay to receipt are associated with a commodity, and the possible inter-relationships between different types of cost discounting. The effort required to obtain a commodity has long been known to influence choice:all other things being equal, organisms will select the least effortful/laborious option that leads to reward. A second cost variable that is thought to impact choice is the time taken to complete a behavior:all other things being equal, organisms will select the option associated with faster reward/less delay to reward. A more controversial and third cost variable that has been suggested to influence behavior is the uncertainty related to acquiring a commodity:all other things being equal, organisms should select the commodity associated with the least uncertainty about its delivery. The chapter reviews the experimental and mathematical procedures used to examine how costs impact the value of a commodity, that is, how the imposition of costs results in the objective value of a commodity being devalued or discounted. The majority of the research examining discounting has examined the impact of the delay before the receipt of a commodity on the subjective value of the commodity. It also reviews the discounting that occurs when costs other than delay to receipt are associated with a commodity, and the possible inter-relationships between different types of cost discounting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationChoice, Behavioural Economics and Addiction
PublisherElsevier Ltd
Pages339-362
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)9780080440569
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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