Acta Oeconomica Pragensia
Acta Oeconomica Pragensia
Acta Oeconomica Pragensia
Journal of Central and Eastern European Economic and Management Issues

Acta Oeconomica Pragensia 2017/4

The Impulsiveness of the Roma Minority, the Czech Majority and the Psychological, Demographic, and Socioeconomic Correlations


[full text (PDF)]

Petr Houdek, Nina Rybáková

The article examines the differences in individual discount rates among the Roma ethnic group (Gypsies) and  the  Czech ethnic group. Low income, low education, and  currently unemployed participants (Roma N=27, Czechs N=23) were subjected to pilot experiments based on in-depth questionnaires. In addition to impulsivity (delay-discount rates), the  correlation with  cognitive aptitude, risk attitudes, and  various socioeconomic and  demographic characteristics were analysed. Even though the Roma group was characterised by lower cognitive abilities, education, and financial literacy, our results indicate that participants from both groups appear to be equally impatient, with discount rates close to the values of individuals dependent on addictive substances (according to the results of some earlier foreign studies). Nevertheless, the Roma ethnic group is better characterised by inconsistent discounting compared to the  Czechs who behave more consistently. However, these results are not robust to alternative estimation characteristics. We also found a positive effect of financial literacy on savings in the Roma sample. The conclusion discusses the influence of the environmental context on impulsivity and reviews the limitations of the study.

Keywords: impulsiveness, cognition, Czech Republic, discounting, financial literacy, poverty, Roma, savings, self-control, time preference

JEL Classification: I32, J15, J22


ANDERSEN, S., HARRISON, G. W., LAU, M. I. a RUTSTRÖM, E. E., 2008. Eliciting Risk and Time

Preferences. Econometrica, 76(3), 583–618,

ANDERSON, C. L., DIETZ, M., GORDON, A. a KLAWITTER, M., 2004. Discount Rates in Vietnam.

Economic Development and Cultural Change, 52(4), 873–887,

ARIELY, D. a WERTENBROCH, K., 2002. Procrastination, Deadlines, and Performance: Self-Control

by Precommitment. Psychological Science, 13(3), 219–224,

BECKER, G. S., MULLIGAN, C. B., 1997. The Endogenous Determination of Time Preference.

The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 112(3), 729–758,

BORGHANS, L., DUCKWORTH, A. L., HECKMAN, J. J. a TER WEEL, B., 2008. The Economics

and Psychology of Personality Traits. Journal of Human Resources, 43(4), 972–1059,


Preferences and Consumer Behavior. National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper

Series 20320,

BRADFORD, W. D., ZOLLER, J. a SILVESTRI, G. A., 2010. Estimating the Effect of Individual Time

Preferences on the Use of Disease Screening. Southern Economic Journal, 76(4), 1005–1031,

BRYAN, G., KARLAN, D. a NELSON, S., 2010. Commitment Devices. Annual Review of Economics,

2(1), 671–698,

CASEY, B. J. et al., 2011. Behavioral and Neural Correlates of Delay of Gratification 40 Years Later.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(36), 14998–15003,

COURTEMANCHE, C., HEUTEL, G a MCALVANAH, P., 2014. Impatience, Incentives and Obesity.

The Economic Journal, 125(582), 1–31,

DICKMAN, S. J., 1990. Functional and Dysfunctional Impulsivity: Personality and Cognitive

Correlates. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58(1), 95–102.

DOHMEN, T., FALK, A., HUFFMAN, D. a SUNDE, U., 2010. Are Risk Aversion and Impatience

Related to Cognitive Ability? American Economic Review, 100(3), 1238–1260,

DOYLE, J. R. a CHEN, C. H., 2010. Time Is Money: Arithmetic Discounting Outperforms

Hyperbolic and Exponential Discounting. SSRN Electronic Journal,

FREDERICK, S., 2005. Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making. Journal of Economic

Perspectives, 19(4), 24–42,

FREDERICK, S., LOEWENSTEIN, G. a O‘DONOGHUE, T., 2002. Time Discounting and Time

Preference: A Critical Review. Journal of Economic Literature, 40(2), 351–401,

FRIJNS, B., GILBERT, A. a TOURANI-RAD, A., 2014. Learning by Doing: The Role of Financial

Experience in Financial Literacy. Journal of Public Policy, 34(1), 123–154,

HAISLEY, E., MOSTAFA, R. a LOEWENSTEIN, G., 2008. Subjective Relative Income and Lottery

Ticket Purchases. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 21(3), 283–295,

LAU, M., HARRISON, G. W., RUTSTRÖM, E. E. a SULLIVAN, M. B., 2005. Eliciting Risk and Time

Preferences Using Field Experiments: Some Methodological Issues. In ISAAC, R. M.

a NORTON, D. A. (eds.). Field Experiments in Economics, 125–218. ISBN 9786610631612.

HARRISON, G. W., LAU, M. I. a WILLIAMS, M. B., 2002. Estimating Individual Discount Rates in

Denmark: A Field Experiment. The American Economic Review, 92(5), 1606–1617,

HOUDEK, P. a KOBLOVSKÝ, P., 2015. Where Is My Money? New Findings in Fiscal Psychology.

Society, 52(2), 155–158,

HOUDEK, P., 2016. A Perspective on Consumers 3.0: They Are Not Better Decision-Makers Than

Previous Generations. Frontiers in Psychology, 7(848),

HOUDEK, P., KOBLOVSKÝ, P., PLAČEK, J. a SMRČKA, L., 2017. Iluze kauzality a nadměrná důvěra

ve schopnost predikce (kvazi)náhodných finančních událostí. Acta Oeconomica Pragensia,

25(1), 51–63,

KIRBY, K. N. a PETRY, N. M., 2004. Heroin and Cocaine Abusers Have Higher Discount Rates for

Delayed Rewards Than Alcoholics or Non‐Drug‐Using Controls. Addiction, 99(4), 461–471,

KIRBY, K. N., PETRY, N. M. a BICKEL W. K., 1999. Heroin Addicts Have Higher Discount Rates for

Delayed Rewards Than Non-Drug-Using Controls. Journal of Experimental Psychology:

General, 128(1), 78–87,

LAIBSON, D., 1997. Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting. Quarterly Journal of Economics,

12(2), 443–477,

LOEWENSTEIN, G. a PRELEC D., 1992. Anomalies in Intertemporal Choice – Evidence

and an Interpretation. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 107(2), 573–597,

LUSARDI, A., MITCHELL, O. S., 2011. Financial Literacy Around the World: An Overview. Journal

of Pension Economics and Finance, 10(4), 497–508,

MAPPES-NIEDIEK, N., 2013. Chudáci Romové, zlí Cikáni. Brno: Host. ISBN 978-80-7294-869-7.

MEIER, S. a SPRENGER, C., 2010. Present-Biased Preferences and Credit Card Borrowing.

American Economic Journal-Applied Economics, 2(1), 193–210,

MOFFITT, T. E. et al., 2011. Gradient of Childhood Self-Control Predicts Health, Wealth,

and Public Safety. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(7), 2693–2698,

MULLAINATHAN, S. a SHAFIR, E., 2013. Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much. London:

Penguin Group. ISBN 9781846143458.

RŮŽIČKA, M., 2011. Časoprostorové a infrastrukturní aspekty procesu sociální exkluze.

Sociologický časopis/Czech Sociological Review, 47(2), 273–295. ISSN 0038-0288.

SAMUELSON, P. A., 1937. A Note on Measurement of Utility. The Review of Economic Studies, 4(2),


SHAH, A. K., MULLAINATHAN, S. a SHAFIR, E., 2012. Some Consequences of Having Too Little.

Science, 338(6107), 682–685,

SHAPIRO, J. M., 2005. Is There a Daily Discount Rate? Evidence from the Food Stamp Nutrition

Cycle. Journal of Public Economics, 89(2), 303–325,

SKOŘEPA, M. a SKOŘEPOVÁ, E., 2008. Finanční a ekonomická gramotnost pro základní školy

a víceletá gymnázia. Praha: Scientia. ISBN 978-80-86960-40-1.

SKUPNIK, J., 2007. Marginalizace a integrace z hlediska sociopsychologické dynamiky

společnosti. Sociologický časopis/Czech Sociological Review, 43(1), 133–147. ISSN 0038-0288.

SPEARS, D., 2011. Economic Decision-Making in Poverty Depletes Behavioral Control. The BE

Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, 11(1),


and Uncertainty: Experimental Decisions Predict Adolescents‘ Field Behavior. American

Economic Review, 103(1), 510–531,

THALER, R. H., 1999. Mental Accounting Matters. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 12(3),


ÚŘAD VLÁDY ČESKÉ REPUBLIKY, 2014. Zpráva o stavu romské menšiny v České republice za rok

2013. Praha: Úřad vlády České republiky.

Licence Creative Commons This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.