Hostname: page-component-6b989bf9dc-llglr Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-14T02:42:22.729Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Cold climates demand more intertemporal self-control than warm climates1

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 August 2013

George Ainslie*
School of Economics, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa; Department of Veterans Affairs, Coatesville, PA 19320.


A climate that is too cold to grow crops for part of the year demands foresight and self-control skills. To the extent that a culture has developed intertemporal bargaining, its members will have more autonomy, but pay the cost of being more compulsive, than members of societies that have not. Monetary resources will be a consequence but will also be fed back as a cause.

Open Peer Commentary
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)



This material is the result of work supported with resources and the use of facilities at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Coatesville, PA, USA. The opinions expressed are not those of the Department of Veterans Affairs or of the U.S. Government. This work is not subject to copyright protection in the United States.


Ainslie, G. (1992) Picoeconomics: The strategic interaction of successive motivational states within the person. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Ainslie, G. (2012) Pure hyperbolic discount curves predict “eyes open” self-control. Theory and Decision 73:334. DOI: 10.1007/s11238-011-9272-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Blaut, J. M. (2000) Eight Eurocentric historians. Guilford.Google Scholar
Laibson, D. (1997) Golden eggs and hyperbolic discounting. Quarterly Journal of Economics 62:443–79.Google Scholar
Mokyr, J. (1990) The lever of riches: Technological creativity and economic progress. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Parker, P. M. (2000) Physioeconomics: The basis for long-run economic growth. MIT Press.Google Scholar
Radcliffe, S. A., Watson, E. E., Simmons, I., Fernandez-Armesto, F. & Sluyter, A. (2010) Environmentalist thinking and/in geography. Progress in Human Geography 34:98116.Google Scholar
Ross, D. (2005) Economic theory and cognitive science: Microexplanation. MIT.Google Scholar
Weber, M. (1904/1958) The Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism. Charles Scribner's Sons.Google Scholar