Cross-country relationships between life expectancy, intertemporal choice and age at first birth

Bulley, Adam and Pepper, Gillian V. (2017) Cross-country relationships between life expectancy, intertemporal choice and age at first birth. Evolution and Human Behavior, 38 5: 652-658. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2017.05.002

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Author Bulley, Adam
Pepper, Gillian V.
Title Cross-country relationships between life expectancy, intertemporal choice and age at first birth
Journal name Evolution and Human Behavior   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1090-5138
Publication date 2017-09-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2017.05.002
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 38
Issue 5
Start page 652
End page 658
Total pages 7
Place of publication New York, NY, United States
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Subject 1105 Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
3205 Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
1201 Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
Abstract Humans, like other animals, typically discount the value of delayed rewards relative to those available in the present. From an evolutionary perspective, prioritising immediate rewards is a predictable response to high local mortality rates, as is an acceleration of reproductive scheduling. In a sample of 46 countries, we explored the cross-country relationships between average life expectancy, intertemporal choice, and women's age at first birth. We find that, across countries, lower life expectancy is associated with both a smaller percentage of people willing to wait for a larger but delayed reward, as well as a younger age at first birth. These results, which hold when controlling for region and economic pressure (GDP-per capita), dovetail with findings at the individual level to suggest that life expectancy is an important ecological predictor of both intertemporal and reproductive decision-making.
Keyword Age at first birth
Delay discounting
Evolution
Human behavioral ecology
Intertemporal choice
Mortality
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Psychology Publications
 
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