Longevity Expectations and Death: Can People Predict Their Own Demise?
AbstractUsing four waves of the Health and Retirement Survey (HRS) this paper tests whether longevity expectations predict actual mortality at the individual level. The results suggest longevity expectations do predict mortality reasonably well. Serious health shocks and new activity limitations do reduce longevity expectations. Given one is prepared to accept that other unobserved causal factors have the same means for those who die and those who survive in each wave it is possible to test whether longevity expectations can serve as a sufficient statistic. The test findings imply that they do not appear to reflect all that individuals know about their personal odds of living to seventy-five.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Duke University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 00-15.
Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
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Other versions of this item:
- V. Kerry Smith & Donald H. Taylor & Frank A. Sloan, 2001. "Longevity Expectations and Death: Can People Predict Their Own Demise?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1126-1134, September.
- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
- J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
- D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2000-10-05 (All new papers)
- NEP-FIN-2000-10-05 (Finance)
- NEP-HEA-2000-10-05 (Health Economics)
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