Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date


Working Paper Number

WP #09011, June 2009


Evidence supports the notion that those who grow up to be patient do better than those who do not. Parents can inculcate the virtue of delayed gratification in their children by taking the right actions. We study a model in which parents, for selfish reasons, invest resources to raise patient children. In the model, patience raises the marginal return to human capital acquisition giving the patient young an incentive to spend more on their own education at the expense of investment in their own progeny’s patience. This dynamic generates intergenerational patience cycles.

Publication Status

Published in Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics-Zeitschrift fur die Gesamte Staatswissenschaft, Vol. 169 no. 2 (2013): 339-354.

JEL Classification

E2, J24

File Format



24 pages

Included in

Economics Commons