The Impact of a Large-Scale Poverty-Targeted Cash Transfer Program on Intertemporal Choice

In this paper, we provide new evidence on the relationship between economic circumstances and intertemporal choice by evaluating the impact of a large-scale cash transfer program in Zambia on the willingness to wait for financial rewards. The key feature of our design is that potential beneficiaries of the program were randomly assigned to intervention and control statuses. We exploit this feature as an exogenous source of variation that can be used to identify the relationship between time discounting and household economic security.