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Subjective survival probabilities and life tables: Evidence from Europe

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  • Franco Peracchi

    (Tor Vergata University and EIEF)

  • Valeria Perotti

    (The World Bank)

Abstract

Understanding the variability of survival probabilities, both between and within cohorts, is important to economists who study life-cycle decisions under uncertainty. In this paper we analyze the subjective probabilities of survival to specific target ages provided by respondents to the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). To evaluate how these probabilities compare with objective data from life tables, and avoid the problems associated with a naive use of period life tables, we construct cohort life tables from the sequence of period life tables available in the Human Mortality Database and use them to compute actuarial probabilities of survival to the same target ages. We find that male subjective survival probabilities are close to the probabilities computed from the cohort life tables, whereas female subjective probabilities are always lower. We also find that subjective survival probabilities are on average higher for more educated people, those whose household income is higher, and those with better health. This evidence suggests that both income and health matter for own assessments of subjective survival.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) in its series EIEF Working Papers Series with number 1016.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision: Nov 2011
Handle: RePEc:eie:wpaper:1016

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References

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  1. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1994. "Using Expectations Data to Study Subjective Income Expectations," Econometrics 9411003, EconWPA.
  2. S. Balia, 2007. "Reporting expected longevity and smoking: evidence from the SHARE," Working Paper CRENoS 200705, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  3. repec:crr:issbrf:ib2007-7-9 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Adeline Delavande & Susann Rohwedder, 2008. "Differential Mortality in Europe and the U.S.: Estimates Based on Subjective Probabilities of Survival," Working Papers 613, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  5. Agar Brugiavini & Tullio Jappelli & Guglielmo Weber, 2002. "The Survey on Health, Aging and Wealth," CSEF Working Papers 86, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  6. Franco Peracchi & Claudio Rossetti, 2009. "Gender and regional differences in self-rated health in Europe," CEIS Research Paper 142, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 30 Sep 2009.
  7. Manski, Charles F. & Molinari, Francesca, 2010. "Rounding Probabilistic Expectations in Surveys," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 28(2), pages 219-231.
  8. Alexander Ludwig & Alexander Zimper, 2008. "A Parsimonious Choquet Model of Subjective Life Expectancy," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2008-20, Center for Retirement Research, revised Dec 2008.
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Cited by:
  1. Nicolas BOUCKAERT & Erik SCHOKKAERT, 2013. "Differing types of medical prevention appeal to different individuals," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces13.11, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  2. Groneck, Max & Ludwig, Alexander & Zimper, Alexander, 2013. "Ambiguous Survival Beliefs and Hyperbolic Discounting in a Life-Cycle Model," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79878, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  3. S. Balia ;, 2011. "Survival expectations, subjective health and smoking: evidence from European countries," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 11/30, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  4. Alexander Zimper & Alexander Ludwig & Max Groneck, 2012. "A Life-Cycle Consumption Model with Ambiguous Survival Beliefs," 2012 Meeting Papers 693, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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