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Adverse selection in annuity markets: Evidence from the British Life Annuity Act of 1808

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  • Rothschild, Casey G.

Abstract

We study adverse selection using data from an 1808 Act of British Parliament that effectively opened a market for life annuities. Our analysis indicates significant selection effects. The evidence for adverse selection is strongest for a sub-sample of annuitants whose annuities were purchased by profit-seeking speculators, a sub-sample in which "advantageous selection" resulting from multi-dimensional heterogeneity is unlikely to have been significant. These results support the view that adverse selection can be masked by advantageous selection in empirical studies of standard insurance markets.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 93 (2009)
Issue (Month): 5-6 (June)
Pages: 776-784

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:93:y:2009:i:5-6:p:776-784

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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Keywords: Annuities Adverse selection Advantageous selection;

References

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  1. Olivia S. Mitchell, 1999. "New Evidence on the Money's Worth of Individual Annuities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1299-1318, December.
  2. Alma Cohen & Liran Einav, 2005. "Estimating Risk Preferences from Deductible Choice," NBER Working Papers 11461, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. John Cawley & Tomas Philipson, 1997. "An Empirical Examination of Information Barriers to Trade inInsurance," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 132, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  4. Thomas Davidoff & Jeffrey R. Brown & Peter A. Diamond, 2005. "Annuities and Individual Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1573-1590, December.
  5. Thomas Buchmueller & John Dinardo, 2002. "Did Community Rating Induce an Adverse Selection Death Spiral? Evidence from New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 280-294, March.
  6. Georges Dionne & Christian Gourieroux & Charles Vanasse, 2001. "Testing for Evidence of Adverse Selection in the Automobile Insurance Market: A Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 444-473, April.
  7. Amy Finkelstein & Kathleen McGarry, 2006. "Multiple Dimensions of Private Information: Evidence from the Long-Term Care Insurance Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 938-958, September.
  8. De Meza, D. & Webb, D.C., 2000. "Advantageous Selection in Insurance Market," Discussion Papers 0007, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  9. Weir, David R., 1989. "Tontines, Public Finance, and Revolution in France and England, 1688–1789," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(01), pages 95-124, March.
  10. David M. Cutler & Amy Finkelstein & Kathleen McGarry, 2008. "Preference Heterogeneity and Insurance Markets: Explaining a Puzzle of Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 157-62, May.
  11. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
  12. Cutler, David & McGarry, Kathleen & Finkelstein, Amy, 2008. "Preference Heterogeneity and Insurance Markets: Explaining a Puzzle of Insurance," Scholarly Articles 2640581, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. David M. Cutler & Sarah Reber, 1996. "Paying for Health Insurance: The Tradeoff between Competition and Adverse Selection," NBER Working Papers 5796, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Amy Finkelstein & James Poterba, 2004. "Adverse Selection in Insurance Markets: Policyholder Evidence from the U.K. Annuity Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 183-208, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Bucher-Koenen, Tabea & Kluth, Sebastian, 2013. "Subjective Life Expectancy and Private Pensions," MEA discussion paper series 12265, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  2. Monika Bütler & Kim Peijnenburg & Stefan Staubli, 2011. "How Much Do Means-Tested Benefits Reduce the Demand for Annuities?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3493, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Bucher-Koenen, Tabea & Kluth, Sebastian, 2013. "Subjective Life Expectancy and Private Pensions," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79806, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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