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Accounting for non-annuitization

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  • Pashchenko, Svetlana

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 four explanations play a big role in reducing annuity demand: preannuitized wealth, minimum annuity purchase requirement, illiquidity of housing wealth, and bequest motives. The annuity purchase involves big upfront investment, especially if there is a minimum purchase restriction. This is binding for many, especially if housing is illiquid and part of wealth is preannuitized. While bequest motives significantly reduce the overall annuity demand, the model with a strong bequest motive cannot match the empirical fact that high-income people have the highest demand for annuities.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 42792.

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Date of creation: 19 Nov 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:42792

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Keywords: annuity puzzle; longevity insurance; adverse selection;

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References

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  1. Martin S. Eichenbaum & Dan S. Peled, 1986. "Capital Accumulation and Annuities in an Adverse Selection Economy," NBER Working Papers 2046, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2005. "Differential mortality, uncertain medical expenses, and the saving of elderly singles," Working Paper Series WP-05-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  3. 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.
  4. Kopecky, Karen A. & Koreshkova, Tatyana, 2009. "The Impact of Medical and Nursing Home Expenses and Social Insurance Policies on Savings and Inequality," MPRA Paper 16197, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. 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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  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John B. Jones, 2010. "Why Do the Elderly Save? The Role of Medical Expenses," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(1), pages 39-75, 02.
  10. 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.
  11. Olivia S. Mitchell & James M. Poterba & Mark J. Warshawsky, 1997. "New Evidence on the Money's Worth of Individual Annuities," NBER Working Papers 6002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Roozbeh Hosseini, 2008. "Adverse Selection in the Annuity Market and the Role for Social Security," 2008 Meeting Papers 264, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  19. Jeffrey R. Brown & Olivia S. Mitchell & James M. Poterba, 2001. "The Role of Real Annuities and Indexed Bonds in an Individual Accounts Retirement Program," NBER Chapters, in: Risk Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform, pages 321-370 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. John Karl Scholz & Ananth Seshadri & Surachai Khitatrakun, 2004. "Are Americans Saving "Optimally" for Retirement?," NBER Working Papers 10260, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Jeffrey R. Brown, 1999. "Private Pensions, Mortality Risk, and the Decision to Annuitize," NBER Working Papers 7191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
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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. 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.
  2. 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. Monika Butler & Kim Peijnenburg & Stefan Staubli, 2011. "How Much Do Means-Tested Benefits Reduce the Demand for Annuities?," Working Papers 418, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Ben J. Heijdra & Jochen O. Mierau & Timo Trimborn, 2014. "Stimulating Annuity Markets," CESifo Working Paper Series 4827, CESifo Group Munich.

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