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Uncertain Health and Survival: Effects on End-of-Life Consumption

  • Lillard, Lee A
  • Weiss, Yoram

This paper analyzes the impact of health and survival uncertainty on the saving and consumption decisions of retirees. A dynamic programming approach is used to model the household's planning problem. The utility parameters are estimated using panel data. The authors find that a fall into poor health raises the marginal utility from consumption. Simulations are used to indicate the effects of falling into poor health and loss of spouse. They reveal a large transfer from the health to the sick partner and a strong dependence of saving on the survivor benefits, suggesting that concern about the surviving spouse is an important motive for saving.

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Article provided by American Statistical Association in its journal Journal of Business and Economic Statistics.

Volume (Year): 15 (1997)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 254-68

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Handle: RePEc:bes:jnlbes:v:15:y:1997:i:2:p:254-68
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