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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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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. De Donder, Philippe & Leroux, Marie-Louise, 2012. "Behavioral Biases and Long Term Care Annuities: A Political Economy Approach," TSE Working Papers 12-352, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Feb 2013.
  2. Groneck, Max & Ludwig, Alexander & Zimper, Alexander, 2013. "A Life-Cycle Model with Ambiguous Survival Beliefs," MEA discussion paper series 13270, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  3. Leroux, M.-L. & Pestieau, P. & Ponthiere, G., 2011. "Longevity, genes and efforts: An optimal taxation approach to prevention," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 62-76, January.
  4. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00748662 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Alexander Ludwig & Alexander Zimper, 2012. "A decision-theoretic model of asset-price underreaction and overreaction to dividend news," Working Papers 201223, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
  6. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00721281 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. d'Albis, Hippolyte & Thibault, Emmanuel, 2012. "Ambiguous Life Expectancy and the Demand for Annuities," IDEI Working Papers 731, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  8. Kim P. Huynh & Juergen Jung, 2010. "Subjective Health Expectations," Working Papers 2010-08, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised May 2014.
  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. John Beshears & James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Stephen P. Zeldes, 2012. "What Makes Annuitization More Appealing?," NBER Working Papers 18575, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • 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.
  11. 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).
  12. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-00748662 is not listed on IDEAS

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