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The demand for enhanced annuities


  • Steinorth, Petra


This paper examines market reaction to the introduction of enhanced annuities in a market for deferred standard annuities. The previous literature shows that individuals can try to avoid risk classification by contracting a standard annuity earlier in their life. This paper offers a new perspective to the timing of the annuity purchase under the assumption that individuals already have an idea about their future risk type when young which becomes clearer over time. It shows that enhanced annuities can crowd out earlier standard annuities completely if the individuals have incomplete knowledge of their future risk type. However, if individuals are sufficiently risk averse and there is a sufficiently high proportion of low risks in the population, both products can remain in the market where lower risk types buy enhanced annuities while the higher risks stick to the early standard annuities. The paper identifies the equilibrium candidate with both annuity types to be Pareto-superior and the unique equilibrium.

Suggested Citation

  • Steinorth, Petra, 2012. "The demand for enhanced annuities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 973-980.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:96:y:2012:i:11:p:973-980 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2012.07.007

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Abel, Andrew B, 1986. "Capital Accumulation and Uncertain Lifetimes with Adverse Selection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1079-1097, September.
    2. Brown, Jeffrey R., 2001. "Private pensions, mortality risk, and the decision to annuitize," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 29-62, October.
    3. Amy Finkelstein & James Poterba, 2004. "Adverse Selection in Insurance Markets: Policyholder Evidence from the U.K. Annuity Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 183-208, February.
    4. Olivia S. Mitchell, 1999. "New Evidence on the Money's Worth of Individual Annuities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1299-1318, December.
    5. Eytan Sheshinski, 2007. "Optimum and Risk-Class Pricing of Annuities," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 240-251, January.
    6. Eichenbaum, Martin S & Peled, Dan, 1987. "Capital Accumulation and Annuities in an Adverse Selection Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(2), pages 334-354, April.
    7. Mathias Kifmann, 2010. "The Design of Pension Pay Out Options When the Health Status during Retirement Is Uncertain," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(1), pages 127-149, February.
    8. Thomas Davidoff & Jeffrey R. Brown & Peter A. Diamond, 2005. "Annuities and Individual Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1573-1590, December.
    9. Benjamin M. Friedman & Mark J. Warshawsky, 1990. "The Cost of Annuities: Implications for Saving Behavior and Bequests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 135-154.
    10. Wilson, Charles, 1977. "A model of insurance markets with incomplete information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 167-207, December.
    11. 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.
    12. Brugiavini, Agar, 1993. "Uncertainty resolution and the timing of annuity purchases," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 31-62, January.
    13. Oded Palmon & Avia Spivak, 2007. "Adverse selection and the market for annuities," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance Theory, Springer;International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics (The Geneva Association), vol. 32(1), pages 37-59, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Richard Peter & Andreas Richter & Petra Steinorth, 2016. "Yes, No, Perhaps? Premium Risk and Guaranteed Renewable Insurance Contracts With Heterogeneous Incomplete Private Information," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 83(2), pages 363-385, June.
    2. Meyricke, Ramona & Sherris, Michael, 2013. "The determinants of mortality heterogeneity and implications for pricing annuities," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 379-387.

    More about this item


    Enhanced annuities; Adverse selection; Annuity demand; Timing of annuity purchase;

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors


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