There is evidence that people discount food more steeply than money, suggesting that primary or consumable reinforcers lose value quickly, whereas conditioned or nonconsumable reinforcers lose value slowly. In the present study, discounting rates of baht (unstable currency) and rice (preservable food) were compared during a period of unstable economic conditions in Thailand. Delay discounting of 2 amounts of hypothetical money and 2 matched amounts of hypothetical rice were examined. For smaller amounts of rewards, there was no difference in rates of discounting between money and a matched amount of rice. For larger amounts of rewards, however, money was discounted more steeply than a matched amount of rice. It was suggested that the unstable currency might be discounted more severely than a durable good of comparable monetary value in some circumstances.
Takahashi, Masaharu; Masataka, Nobuo; Malaivijitnond, Suchinda; and Wongsiri, Siriwat
"Future Rice is Discounted Less Steeply than Future Money in Thailand,"
The Psychological Record:
2, Article 2.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/tpr/vol58/iss2/2