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Accounting for non-annuitization

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  • Svetlana Pashchenko

Abstract

Why don't people buy annuities? Several explanations have been provided by the previous literature: large fraction of preannuitized wealth in retirees' portfolios; adverse selection; bequest motives; and medical expense uncertainty. This paper uses a quantitative model to assess the importance of these impediments to annuitization and also studies three newer explanations: government safety net in terms of means-tested transfers; illiquidity of housing wealth; and restrictions on minimum amount of investment in annuities. This paper shows that quantitatively the last three explanations play a big role in reducing annuity demand. The minimum consumption floor turns out to be important to explain the lack of annuitization, especially for people in lower income quintiles, who are well insured by this provision. The minimum annuity purchase requirement involves big upfront investment and is binding for many, especially if housing wealth cannot be easily annuitized. Among the traditional explanations, preannuitized wealth has the largest quantitative contribution to the annuity puzzle.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Working Paper Series with number WP-2010-03.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-2010-03

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References

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  1. Jeffrey R. Brown & Olivia S. Mitchell & James M. Poterba, 1999. "The Role of Real Annuities and Indexed Bonds in an Individual Accounts Retirement Program," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 99-18, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  2. Tatyana Koreshkova & Karen A. Kopecky, 2009. "The Impact of Medical and Nursing Home Expenses and Social Insurance Policies on Savings and Inequality," 2009 Meeting Papers 46, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Karen A. Kopecky & Tatyana Koreshkova, 2010. "The impact of medical and nursing home expenses and social insurance," Working Paper 2010-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  4. Dushi, Irena & Webb, Anthony, 2004. "Household annuitization decisions: simulations and empirical analyses," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(02), pages 109-143, July.
  5. Love, David A. & Palumbo, Michael G. & Smith, Paul A., 2009. "The trajectory of wealth in retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 191-208, February.
  6. Jeske, Karsten & Kitao, Sagiri, 2009. "U.S. tax policy and health insurance demand: Can a regressive policy improve welfare?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 210-221, March.
  7. Roozbeh Hosseini, 2008. "Adverse Selection in the Annuity Market and the Role for Social Security," 2008 Meeting Papers 264, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Mariacristina De Nardi, 2002. "Wealth inequality and intergenerational links," Staff Report 314, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. Eichenbaum, Martin S & Peled, Dan, 1987. "Capital Accumulation and Annuities in an Adverse Selection Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(2), pages 334-54, April.
  10. Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2004. "On the distribution and dynamics of health care costs," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 705-721.
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  12. Pauly, Mark V, 1974. "Overinsurance and Public Provision of Insurance: The Roles of Moral Hazard and Adverse Selection," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 44-62, February.
  13. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2009. "Why do the Elderly Save? The Role of Medical Expenses," NBER Working Papers 15149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2006. "Differential Mortality, Uncertain Medical Expenses, and the Saving of Elderly Singles," 2006 Meeting Papers 46, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  15. Olivia S. Mitchell & James M. Poterba & Mark J. Warshawsky, . "New Evidence on the Money's Worth of Individual Annuities," Pension Research Council Working Papers 97-9, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
  16. Jeffrey R. Brown, 1999. "Private Pensions, Mortality Risk, and the Decision to Annuitize," NBER Working Papers 7191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Lee Lockwood, 2012. "Bequest Motives and the Annuity Puzzle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(2), pages 226-243, April.
  18. Walliser, Jan, 2000. " Adverse Selection in the Annuities Market and the Impact of Privatizing Social Security," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(3), pages 373-93, June.
  19. 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.
  20. John Ameriks & Andrew Caplin & Steven Laufer & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2011. "The Joy of Giving or Assisted Living? Using Strategic Surveys to Separate Public Care Aversion from Bequest Motives," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(2), pages 519-561, 04.
  21. Lina Walker, 2004. "Elderly Households and Housing Wealth: Do They Use It or Lose It?," Working Papers wp070, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  22. John Ameriks & Andrew Caplin & Steven Laufer & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2007. "The Joy of Giving or Assisted Living? Using Strategic Surveys to Separate Bequest and Precautionary Motives," NBER Working Papers 13105, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Cassio M. Turra & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2004. "The Impact of Health Status and Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenditures on Annuity Valuation," Working Papers wp086, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Why is barely anyone buying annuities?
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2013-01-10 15:04:00
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Cited by:
  1. Monika Bütler & Kim Peijnenburg & Stefan Staubli, 2013. "How Much Do Means-Tested Benefits Reduce the Demand for Annuities?," NRN working papers 2013-11, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  2. Beshears, John & Choi, James J. & Laibson, David & Madrian, Brigitte C. & Zeldes, Stephen P., 2014. "What makes annuitization more appealing?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 2-16.
    • John Beshears & James Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte Madrian & Stephen P. Zeldes, 2012. "What Makes Annuitization More Appealing?," NBER Chapters, in: Retirement Benefits for State and Local Employees: Designing Pension Plans for the Twenty-First Century National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Mierau, Jochen O. & Heijdra, Ben J. & Trimborn, Timo, 2014. "Stimulating Annuity Markets," Research Report 14015-EEF, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
  4. Antoine Bommier & François Grand, 2014. "Too risk averse to purchase insurance?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 135-166, April.
  5. Bagchi, Shantanu, 2013. "Is the Social Security Crisis Really as Bad as We Think?," MPRA Paper 56294, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised May 2014.
  6. Lee Lockwood, 2012. "Bequest Motives and the Annuity Puzzle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(2), pages 226-243, April.
  7. Frank Caliendo & Nick Guo & Roozbeh Hosseini, . "Social Security is NOT a Substitute for Annuity Markets," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.

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