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Annuities and Individual Welfare

  • Thomas Davidoff
  • Jeffrey R. Brown
  • Peter A. Diamond

Advancing annuity demand theory, we present sufficient conditions for the optimality of full annuitization under market completeness which are substantially less restrictive than those used by Menahem E. Yaari (1965). We examine demand with market incompleteness, finding that positive annuitization remains optimal widely, but complete annuitization does not. How uninsured medical expenses affect demand for illiquid annuities depends critically on the timing of the risk. A new set of calculations with optimal consumption trajectories very different from available annuity income streams still shows a preference for considerable annuitization, suggesting that limited annuity purchases are plausibly due to psychological or behavioral biases.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/000282805775014281
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/dec05_data_20030535.zip
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 95 (2005)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1573-1590

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:95:y:2005:i:5:p:1573-1590
Note: DOI: 10.1257/000282805775014281
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  1. Benjamin M. Friedman & Mark Warshawsky, 1985. "The Cost of Annuities: Implications for Saving Behavior and Bequests," NBER Working Papers 1682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Spivak, Avia, 1981. "The Family as an Incomplete Annuities Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(2), pages 372-91, April.
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  8. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1991. "How Strong Are Bequest Motives? Evidence Based on Estimates of the Demand for Life Insurance and Annuities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 899-927, October.
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  12. B. Douglas Bernheim & Lorenzo Forni & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 2003. "The Mismatch Between Life Insurance Holdings and Financial Vulnerabilities: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 354-365, March.
  13. Jeffrey R. Brown & Mark J. Warshawsky, 2001. "Longevity-Insured Retirement Distributions from Pension Plans: Market and Regulatory Issues," NBER Working Papers 8064, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. 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.
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  21. Bernheim, B. Douglas, 1987. "The economic effects of social security : Toward a reconciliation of theory and measurement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 273-304, August.
  22. Friedman, Benjamin M & Warshawsky, Mark J, 1990. "The Cost of Annuities: Implications for Saving Behavior and Bequests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 135-54, February.
  23. Auerbach, Alan J. & Kotlikoff, Laurence J., 1991. "The adequacy of life insurance purchases," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 215-241, June.
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  26. Huang, Ming, 2003. "Liquidity shocks and equilibrium liquidity premia," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 104-129, March.
  27. 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.
  28. B. Douglas Bernheim & Lorenzo Forni & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 2001. "The mismatch between life insurance holdings and financial vulnerabilities: evidence from the Health and Retirement Survey," Working Paper 0109, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
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