Factors affecting soldiers' time preference: A field study in Israel

Tal Shavit, Eyal Lahav, Uri Benzion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current field study examines how the day of the week, optimism level and other personal characteristics influences the time preference of soldiers. To do this, we compare the time discount of soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces at the beginning of the work week (Sunday in Israel) and just prior to the weekend (on Thursday afternoon in Israel). The soldiers were asked to answer questionnaires regarding their time preferences, and dispositional optimism. We found that the soldiers have a higher subjective discount rate on Thursday when they need money for weekend activities. In addition, we found that optimism, being a firstborn sibling, having parents with higher earnings, and time remaining until discharge are negatively related to subjective discount rate. Conversely, having a balanced bank account is positively related to subjective discount rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-84
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Socio-Economics
StatePublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the research authority at the School of Business Administration in the Academic College of Management Academic Studies (Israel) for the financial support.


  • Birth order
  • Discount rates
  • Military
  • Optimism
  • Soldiers
  • Time preference


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