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Introduction to The Economic Theory of Annuities
[The Economic Theory of Annuities]

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Author Info

  • Eytan Sheshinski

    (Hebrew University)

Abstract

Annuities are financial products that guarantee the holder a fixed return so long as the holder remains alive, thereby providing insurance against lifetime uncertainty. The terms of these contracts depend on the information available to insurance firms. Unlike age and gender, information about individual survival probabilities cannot be readily ascertained. This asymmetric information causes market inefficiencies, such as adverse selection. Groundbreaking in its scope, The Economic Theory of Annuities offers readers a theoretical analysis of the functioning of private annuity markets. Starting with a general analysis of survival functions, stochastic dominance, and characterization of changes in longevity, Eytan Sheshinski derives the demand for annuities using a model of individuals who jointly choose their lifetime consumption and retirement age. The relation between life insurance and annuities that have a bequest option is examined and "annuity options" are proposed as a response to the lack of secondary markets. This book also investigates the macroeconomic policy implications of annuities and changes in longevity on aggregate savings. Sheshinski utilizes statistical population theory to shed light on the debate of whether the surge in savings and growth in Asia and other countries can be attributed to higher longevity of the population and whether this surge is durable. This book shows how understanding annuities becomes essential as governments that grapple with insolvency of public social security systems place greater emphasis on individual savings accounts.

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Bibliographic Info

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This chapter was published in: Eytan Sheshinski , , pages , 2007.

This item is provided by Princeton University Press in its series Introductory Chapters with number 8536-1.

Handle: RePEc:pup:chapts:8536-1

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Web page: http://press.princeton.edu

Related research

Keywords: annuities; insurance; lifetime; uncertainty; survival; adverse selection; longevity; stochastic dominance; population; savings;

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Cited by:
  1. Shesshinski, Eytan, 2006. "Longevity and Aggregate Savings," MPRA Paper 55165, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Mar 2007.
  2. Zvi Bodie & J�r�me Detemple & Marcel Rindisbacher, 2009. "Life-Cycle Finance and the Design of Pension Plans," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 249-286, November.
  3. Marie-Louise Leroux & Grégory Ponthière, 2008. "Optimal tax policy and expected longevity: A mean and variance utility approach," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586247, HAL.
  4. Felix Reichling & Kent Smetters, 2013. "Optimal Annuitization with Stochastic Mortality Probabilities," NBER Working Papers 19211, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Gaobo Pang, Mark J. Warshawsk, . "Optimizing the Equity-Bond-Annuity Portfolio in Retirement: The Impact of Uncertain Health Expenses," Research Reports 4, Watson Wyatt Worldwide.
  6. Felix Reichling & Kent Smetters, 2013. "Optimal Annuitization with Stochastic Mortality Probabilities: Working Paper 2013-05," Working Papers 44374, Congressional Budget Office.
  7. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00586247 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Giuseppe Cappelletti & Giovanni Guazzarotti & Pietro Tommasino, 2011. "What determines annuity demand at retirement?," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 805, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

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