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A Parsimonious Model of Subjective Life Expectancy

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  • Ludwig, Alexander

    ()
    (Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA) and Sonderforschungsbereich 504)

  • Zimper, Alexander

    ()
    (Sonderforschungsbereich 504)

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 survival 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 learning 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 Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim in its series Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications with number 07-65.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 07 Nov 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:07-65

Note: We thank Axel Börsch-Supan, Andrew Caplin, Mike Hurd, Jürgen Maurer, Susan Rohwedder,
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. d'Albis, Hippolyte & Thibault, Emmanuel, 2012. "Ambiguous Life Expectancy and the Demand for Annuities," IDEI Working Papers 731, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  2. 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).
  3. De Donder, Philippe & Leroux, Marie-Louise, 2012. "Behavioral Biases and Long Term Care Annuities: A Political Economy Approach," IDEI Working Papers 749, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Feb 2013.
  4. 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.
  5. Alexander Zimper & Alexander Ludwig & Max Groneck, 2012. "A Life-Cycle Consumption Model with Ambiguous Survival Beliefs," 2012 Meeting Papers 693, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Kim P. Huynh & Juergen Jung, 2010. "Subjective Health Expectations," Working Papers 2010-08, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised May 2014.
  9. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00721281 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Nicolas Drouhin, 2012. "A rank-dependent utility model of uncertain lifetime, time consistency and life insurance," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00748662, HAL.
  11. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00748662 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. 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).

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