IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aecrev/v108y2018i9p2513-50.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Incidental Bequests and the Choice to Self-Insure Late-Life Risks

Author

Listed:
  • Lee M. Lockwood

Abstract

Despite facing significant uncertainty about their lifespans and health care costs, most retirees do not buy annuities or long-term care insurance. In this paper, I find that retirees' saving and insurance choices are highly inconsistent with standard life cycle models in which people care only about their own consumption but match well models in which bequests are luxury goods. Bequest motives tend to reduce the value of insurance by reducing the opportunity cost of precautionary saving. The results suggest that bequest motives significantly increase saving and significantly decrease purchases of long-term care insurance and annuities.

Suggested Citation

  • Lee M. Lockwood, 2018. "Incidental Bequests and the Choice to Self-Insure Late-Life Risks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(9), pages 2513-2550, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:108:y:2018:i:9:p:2513-50
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20141651
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/doi/10.1257/aer.20141651
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/articles/attachments?retrieve=8amlH6CqxaqmXVBwwcSCixww-leqTRu7
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/articles/attachments?retrieve=hN9IPaLZOkxs2_A3LZX656TY1wl_g_N0
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/articles/attachments?retrieve=PzsJh5yyPM9AlTNHSLZexOndXM7Ak7y7
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Goda, Gopi Shah, 2011. "The impact of state tax subsidies for private long-term care insurance on coverage and Medicaid expenditures," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 744-757, August.
    2. Wojciech Kopczuk & Joseph P. Lupton, 2007. "To Leave or Not to Leave: The Distribution of Bequest Motives," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 207-235.
    3. Susann Rohwedder & Steven J. Haider & Michael D. Hurd, 2006. "INCREASES IN WEALTH AMONG THE ELDERLY IN THE EARLY 1990s: HOW MUCH IS DUE TO SURVEY DESIGN?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 52(4), pages 509-524, December.
    4. John Karl Scholz & Ananth Seshadri & Surachai Khitatrakun, 2006. "Are Americans Saving "Optimally" for Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(4), pages 607-643, August.
    5. Nathaniel Hendren, 2013. "Private Information and Insurance Rejections," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(5), pages 1713-1762, September.
    6. Sloan, Frank A & Norton, Edward C, 1997. "Adverse Selection, Bequests, Crowding Out, and Private Demand for Insurance: Evidence from the Long-Term Care Insurance Market," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 201-219, December.
    7. Lusardi, Annamaria & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2007. "Baby Boomer retirement security: The roles of planning, financial literacy, and housing wealth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 205-224, January.
    8. Karen A. Kopecky & Tatyana Koreshkova, 2014. "The Impact of Medical and Nursing Home Expenses on Savings," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 29-72, July.
    9. 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, April.
    10. Cagetti, Marco, 2003. "Wealth Accumulation over the Life Cycle and Precautionary Savings," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 21(3), pages 339-353, July.
    11. Ettner, Susan L, 1994. "The Effect of the Medicaid Home Care Benefit on Long-Term Care Choices of the Elderly," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(1), pages 103-127, January.
    12. Jeffrey R. Brown & Amy Finkelstein, 2009. "The Private Market for Long‐Term Care Insurance in the United States: A Review of the Evidence," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 76(1), pages 5-29, March.
    13. 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.
    14. David A. Benson & Eric French, 2011. "How do sudden large losses in wealth affect labor force participation?," Chicago Fed Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Jan.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2016. "Medicaid Insurance in Old Age," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(11), pages 3480-3520, November.
    2. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2016. "Savings After Retirement: A Survey," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 8(1), pages 177-204, October.
    3. Siha Lee & Kegon T. K. Tan, 2019. "Bequest Motives and the Social Security Notch," Working Papers 2019-061, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    4. Haizhen Lin & Jeffrey T. Prince, 2012. "The Impact of the Partnership Long-term Care Insurance Program on Private Coverage and Medicaid Expenditures," Working Papers 2012-01, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
    5. 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, February.
    6. Martin Boyer & Philippe De Donder & Claude-Denys Fluet & Marie-Louise Leroux & Pierre-Carl Michaud, 2018. "A Canadian Parlor Room-Type Approach to the Long-Term Care Insurance Puzzle," Cahiers de recherche 1806, Centre de recherche sur les risques, les enjeux économiques, et les politiques publiques.
    7. Johannes Hagen, 2015. "The determinants of annuitization: evidence from Sweden," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(4), pages 549-578, August.
    8. Martin Boyer & Philippe De Donder & Claude Fluet & Marie-Louise Leroux & Pierre-Carl Michaud, 2017. "Long-Term Care Insurance: Knowledge Barriers, Risk Perception and Adverse Selection," NBER Working Papers 23918, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Agnese Romiti & Mariacristina Rossi, 2014. "Wealth decumulation, portfolio composition and financial literacy among European elderly," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 375, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    10. Pashchenko, Svetlana, 2013. "Accounting for non-annuitization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 53-67.
    11. Gomes, Francisco J & Haliassos, Michael & Ramadorai, Tarun, 2020. "Household Finance," CEPR Discussion Papers 14502, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Corina Boar, 2017. "Dynastic Precautionary Savings," 2017 Meeting Papers 343, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. Shinae Choi & Melissa J. Wilmarth, 2019. "The Moderating Role of Depressive Symptoms Between Financial Assets and Bequests Expectation," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 498-510, September.
    14. Gan, Li & Gong, Guan & Hurd, Michael & McFadden, Daniel, 2015. "Subjective mortality risk and bequests," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 188(2), pages 514-525.
    15. John Ameriks & Joseph Briggs & Andrew Caplin & Matthew D. Shapiro & Christopher Tonetti, 2016. "The Long-Term-Care Insurance Puzzle: Modeling and Measurement," NBER Working Papers 22726, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Martin Eling & Omid Ghavibazoo, 2019. "Research on long-term care insurance: status quo and directions for future research," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 44(2), pages 303-356, April.
    17. Joseph Briggs & Christopher Tonetti, 2019. "Risky Insurance: Insurance Portfolio Choice with Incomplete Markets," 2019 Meeting Papers 1388, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    18. Rowena Crawford & Cormac O'Dea, 2020. "Household portfolios and financial preparedness for retirement," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 11(2), pages 637-670, May.
    19. Peijnenburg, J.M.J. & Nijman, T.E. & Werker, B.J.M., 2010. "Health Cost Risk and Optimal Retirement Provision : A Simple Rule for Annuity Demand," Discussion Paper 2010-14, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    20. David Blake & Marco Morales & Jing Ai & Patrick L. Brockett & Linda L. Golden & Wei Zhu, 2017. "Special Edition: Longevity 10 – The Tenth International Longevity Risk and Capital Markets Solutions Conference," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 84(S1), pages 319-343, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D15 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Intertemporal Household Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:108:y:2018:i:9:p:2513-50. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael P. Albert). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.