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Intertemporal Choices for Health 

Intertemporal Choices for Health
Intertemporal Choices for Health

Justin S. White

and William H. Dow

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date: 18 October 2021

This chapter focuses on the systematic—that is, potentially foreseeable—ways in which individuals’ intertemporal health choices depart from the predictions of standard economic theory. By “standard” theory we refer to a model of the rational agent from neoclassical economics who is perfectly informed, forward-looking, and consistent in his or her preferences. We describe the standard economic model of rational choice and describe three classes of deviations from the standard model: (1) nonstandard preferences, (2) nonstandard beliefs, and (3) nonstandard decision making. We also discuss the ways in which an understanding of these departures from the standard model can inform policy and the design of decision aids.

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