UCL News


Economists find money is more precious than time

22 August 2005

They say that time is more precious that money, but economists have shown that this isn't the case.

Researchers presented a paper at the 2005 World Congress of the Econometric Society, hosted by UCL, showing people are more willing to share the fruits of their labour than their money.

In a laboratory experiment designed to eliminate factors that can distort the comparison between monetary and non-monetary generosity, Professor Tore Ellingsen, with his colleague Professor Magnus Johannesson from Stockholm School of Economics, found that a of third subjects demanded no compensation for non-monetary investments. In contrast, almost all subjects demand compensation for equally costly monetary investments.

"Except for donations to charities and other gifts from the relatively rich to the relatively poor, generosity is largely expressed by non-monetary means," says Professor Ellingsen.