Having almost completed the first draft of my paper in the first half of this week, I now turn my attention to the final section of my paper: further research. Having analyzed and summarized the research that has currently been released on my topic, I now feel that I have a good understanding of what questions are yet to be answered. Among these are how to tell the difference between present bias and impatience, whether more frequent payment would benefit higher income individuals, and in what ways pay frequency interacts with business cycles. Some of these questions could be addressed through surveys and I hope that the work I have been doing with the Bureau’s surveys in the last seven weeks will help me formulate some potential questions.
Since my last post, I have also come across some more interesting findings, especially in regards to pay frequency and some of the reasons why the majority of individuals would be hurt by more frequent pay. In a recent study by Wendy de la Rosa and Stephanie Tully of Stanford University, the researchers found that more frequent pay may result in individuals perceiving their wealth to be higher. This change in perception leads to greater discretionary spending, or spending that is not necessary. Further research is still needed on this subject, but I definitely believe it is an avenue worth exploring, especially considering that most current arguments against more frequent pay only apply to very specific groups.
On the internship front, this week I have been working on analyzing the questions that I have been working with based on a new set of variables. I will present all of my findings from over the course of the internship to the department on May 12. One of my advisors was also kind enough to invite me to one of the Bureau’s research conferences, giving me the opportunity to see the sort of research the Bureau is currently working on.
De La Rosa, W., & Tully, S. (2020). The Impact of Payment Frequency on Subjective Wealth Perceptions and Discretionary Spending. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3658727