Why Don't People Insure Late Life Consumption? A Framing Explanation of the Under-Annuitization Puzzle
AbstractRational models of risk-averse consumers have difficulty explaining limited annuity demand. We posit that consumers evaluate annuity products using a narrow "investment frame" that focuses on risk and return, rather than a "consumption frame" that considers the consequences for lifelong consumption. Under an investment frame, annuities are quite unattractive, exhibiting high risk without high returns. Survey evidence supports this hypothesis: whereas 72 percent of respondents prefer a life annuity over a savings account when the choice is framed in terms of consumption, only 21 percent of respondents prefer it when the choice is framed in terms of investment features.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 2799056.
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in American Economic Review
Other versions of this item:
- Jeffrey R. Brown & Jeffrey R. Kling & Sendhil Mullainathan & Marian V. Wrobel, 2008. "Why Don’t People Insure Late-Life Consumption? A Framing Explanation of the Under-Annuitization Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 304-09, May.
- Jeffrey R. Brown & Jeffrey R. Kling & Sendhil Mullainathan & Marian V. Wrobel, 2008. "Why Don't People Insure Late Life Consumption: A Framing Explanation of the Under-Annuitization Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 13748, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
- H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
- J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
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- Richard H. Thaler, 2008.
"Mental Accounting and Consumer Choice,"
INFORMS, vol. 27(1), pages 15-25, 01-02.
- Jeffrey R. Brown, 2007. "Rational and Behavioral Perspectives on the Role of Annuities in Retirement Planning," NBER Working Papers 13537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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