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A Parsimonious Model of Subjective Life Expectancy

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  • Alexander Ludwig

    ()

  • Alexander Zimper

    (Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA))

Abstract

This paper develops a theoretical model for the formation of subjective beliefs on individual survival expectations. Data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) indicate that, on average, young respondents underestimate their true sur- vival probability whereas old respondents overestimate their survival probability. Such subjective beliefs violate the rational expectations paradigm and are also not in line with the predictions of the rational Bayesian learning paradigm. We therefore introduce a model of Bayesian learning which combines rational learn- ing with the possibility that the interpretation of new information is prone to psychological attitudes. We estimate the parameters of our theoretical model by pooling the HRS data. Despite a parsimonious parametrization we find that our model results in a remarkable fit to the average subjective beliefs expressed in the data.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy in its series MEA discussion paper series with number 07154.

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Date of creation: 31 Dec 2007
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Handle: RePEc:mea:meawpa:07154

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Postal: Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy, Amalienstraße 33, 80799 München, Germany
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References

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  1. Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 571-87, May.
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  4. Michael D. Hurd & Daniel McFadden & Angela Merrill, 2001. "Predictors of Mortality among the Elderly," NBER Chapters, in: Themes in the Economics of Aging, pages 171-198 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  18. Wakker, Peter P, 2001. "Testing and Characterizing Properties of Nonadditive Measures through Violations of the Sure-Thing Principle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 1039-59, July.
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  21. Daniel McFadden & Albert Bemmaor & Francis Caro & Jeff Dominitz & Byung-Hill Jun & Arthur Lewbel & Rosa Matzkin & Francesca Molinari & Norbert Schwarz & Robert Willis & Joachim Winter, 2005. "Statistical Analysis of Choice Experiments and Surveys," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 183-196, December.
  22. Michael D. Hurd & Kathleen McGarry, 2002. "The Predictive Validity of Subjective Probabilities of Survival," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 966-985, October.
  23. Alexander Zimper & Alexander Ludwig, 2009. "On attitude polarization under Bayesian learning with non-additive beliefs," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 181-212, October.
  24. Bleichrodt, Han & Eeckhoudt, Louis, 2006. "Survival risks, intertemporal consumption, and insurance: The case of distorted probabilities," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 335-346, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Hippolyte D'Albis & Emmanuel Thibault, 2012. "Ambiguous Life Expectancy and the Demand for Annuities," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00721281, HAL.
  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. DE DONDER, Philippe & LEROUX, Marie-Louise, 2013. "Behavioral biases and long term care insurance: A political economy approach," CORE Discussion Papers 2013020, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. Kim P. Huynh & Juergen Jung, 2010. "Subjective Health Expectations," Working Papers 2010-08, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised May 2014.
  5. Philippe De Donder & Marie-Louise Leroux, 2012. "Behavioral Biases and Long Term Care Annuities: A Political Economy Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 3972, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00748662 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00721281 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Max Groneck & Alexander Ludwig & Alexander Zimper, 2013. "A Life-Cycle Model with Ambiguous Survival Beliefs," Working Paper Series in Economics 63, University of Cologne, Department of Economics, revised 22 Nov 2013.
  9. Alexander Zimper & Alexander Ludwig & Max Groneck, 2012. "A Life-Cycle Consumption Model with Ambiguous Survival Beliefs," 2012 Meeting Papers 693, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. LEROUX, Marie-Louise & PESTIEAU, Pierre & PONTHIERE, Grégory, . "Longevity, genes and efforts: an optimal taxation approach to prevention," CORE Discussion Papers RP -2309, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  11. Alexander Ludwig & Alexander Zimper, 2012. "A decision-theoretic model of asset-price underreaction and overreaction to dividend news," Working Papers 296, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  12. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-00748662 is not listed on IDEAS

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