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Ageing and the Demand for Life Insurance : An Empirical Investigation using French Panel Data


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  • Bernard, Philippe
  • El Mekkaoui de Freitas, Najat
  • Lavigne, Anne
  • Mahieu, Ronan


The age structure of the French population has been experiencing dramatic changes over the past decades and is likely to do so in a near future. The increasing proportion of elder people may modify the saving behaviour of French households. The level of saving, as well as its composition, may be altered by ageing of the French population. This paper investigates the relationship between age structure and the demand for life insurance products using an econometric estimation of French survey data (Patrimoine 1998 of the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE)). More precisely, we try to identify the significant demographic, economic and financial factors influencing this demand (age, income, household wealth, marital status, occupational status and education…). Following a methodology developed in a companion article, this paper begins with a characterisation of household accumulation profile in France. The paper then estimates a Probit model to exhibit the determinants of the probability of life insurance holding, and an ordinary least squares procedure to explain the amount of wealth held in life insurance, according to the previously identified significant variables. The results suggest a robust relationship between demographic structure and the demand for life insurance.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Paris Dauphine University in its series Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine with number 123456789/6152.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Publication status: Published in Cahiers de recherche d'EURISCO, 2003
Handle: RePEc:dau:papers:123456789/6152

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Keywords: portfolio selection; ageing; retirement saving; Life insurance;

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  1. Deaton, Angus, 1991. "Saving and Liquidity Constraints," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1221-48, September.
  2. Orazio P. Attanasio & Guglielmo Weber, 1994. "Is Consumption Growth Consistent with Intertemporal Optimization? Evidence from the Consumer Expenditure Survey," NBER Working Papers 4795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1995. "Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-02, McMaster University.
  4. Daniel Szpiro, 1995. "La diffusion des produits financiers auprès des ménages en France," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, Programme National Persée, vol. 281(1), pages 41-68.
  5. Irvine, Ian & Wang, Susheng, 2001. "Saving behavior and wealth accumulation in a pure lifecycle model with income uncertainty," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 233-258, February.
  6. André Masson & Luc Arrondel, 1996. "Gestion du risque et comportements patrimoniaux," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, Programme National Persée, vol. 296(1), pages 63-89.
  7. Richard, Scott F., 1975. "Optimal consumption, portfolio and life insurance rules for an uncertain lived individual in a continuous time model," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 187-203, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Lavigne, Anne & Bernard, Philippe & Mahieu, Ronan & El Mekkaoui de Freitas, Najat, 2003. "Increase in Life-Expectancy and Saving Behaviour," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine, Paris Dauphine University 123456789/3513, Paris Dauphine University.
  2. Najat El Mekkaoui de Freitas & Berangere Legendre Lunven & Gordon Clark, 2013. "Individual Private Retirement Insurances: holding behaviours among pensioners," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(1), pages 812-827.
  3. Legendre, Bérangère & El Mekkaoui de Freitas, Najat, 2012. "Life cycle accumulation and aging risks," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine, Paris Dauphine University 123456789/11142, Paris Dauphine University.


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