Cross-country relationships between life expectancy, intertemporal choice and age at first birth

Bulley, Adam and Pepper, Gillian (2017) Cross-country relationships between life expectancy, intertemporal choice and age at first birth. Evolution and Human Behavior, 38 (5). pp. 652-658. ISSN 1090-5138

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2017.05.0...

Abstract

Humans, like other animals, typically discount the value of delayed rewards relative to those available in the present. From an evolutionary perspective, prioritising immediate rewards is a predictable response to high local mortality rates, as is an acceleration of reproductive scheduling. In a sample of 46 countries, we explored the cross-country relationships between average life expectancy, intertemporal choice, and women's age at first birth. We find that, across countries, lower life expectancy is associated with both a smaller percentage of people willing to wait for a larger but delayed reward, as well as a younger age at first birth. These results, which hold when controlling for region and economic pressure (GDP-per capita), dovetail with findings at the individual level to suggest that life expectancy is an important ecological predictor of both intertemporal and reproductive decision-making.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Intertemporal choice, Delay discounting, Evolution, Mortality, Age at first birth, Human behavioral ecology
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2019 09:27
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 11:33
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/37797

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