Cormac O'Dea

Dr Cormac O'Dea

Associate Director


PhD Economics, University College London, 2016

MPhil Economics (Distinction), University of Cambridge, 2007

BA Economics (1st Class), Trinity College Dublin, 2006

ORCID: 0000-0002-1083-1495

Cormac is an Associate Director and Head of the Consumption and Saving sector at the IFS. His current work focuses on household saving behaviour, retirement decisions and design of public pensions.

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Discount rate heterogeneity among older households: a puzzle?

| Journal Articles

We put forward a method for estimating discount rates using wealth and income data. We build consumption from these data using the budget constraint. Consumption transitions yield discount rates by household groups. Applying this technique to a sample of older households, we find a similar distribution to those previously estimated using field data, though with a much lower mean than those found using experiments. Surprisingly, among this older population, patience is negatively correlated with education and numeracy. This goes against the positive correlation found for younger populations in experiments and some field studies. We discuss potential explanations for this result.

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