IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Too risk averse to purchase insurance?

Listed author(s):
  • Antoine Bommier

    ()

  • François Grand

    ()

This paper suggests a new explanation for the low level of annuitization, which is valid even if one assumes perfect markets. We show that, as soon there is a positive bequest motive, sufficiently risk averse individuals should not purchase annuities. A model calibration accounting for lifetime risk aversion generates a significantly smaller willingness-to-pay for annuities than the one generated by a standard time-additive model. Moreover, the calibration predicts that riskless savings finance one third of consumption, in line with empirical findings. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11166-014-9190-3
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Risk and Uncertainty.

Volume (Year): 48 (2014)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 135-166

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:48:y:2014:i:2:p:135-166
DOI: 10.1007/s11166-014-9190-3
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springer.com

Order Information: Web: http://www.springer.com/economics/economic+theory/journal/11166/PS2

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Julie R. Agnew & Lisa R. Anderson & Jeffrey R. Gerlach & Lisa R. Szykman, 2008. "Who Chooses Annuities? An Experimental Investigation of the Role of Gender, Framing, and Defaults," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 418-422, May.
  2. 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, 04.
  3. Dreze, Jacques H. & Modigliani, Franco, 1972. "Consumption decisions under uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 308-335, December.
  4. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2009. "Why do the elderly save? the role of medical expenses," Working Paper Series WP-09-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  5. 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.
  6. Pashchenko, Svetlana, 2012. "Accounting for non-annuitization," MPRA Paper 42792, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Kimball, M. & Weil, P., 1991. "Precautionary Savings and Consumption Smoothing Across Time and Possibilities," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1563, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Joachim Inkmann & Paula Lopes & Alexander Michaelides, 2009. "How Deep is the Annuity Market Participation Puzzle?," Working Papers 2009-5, Central Bank of Cyprus.
  9. Antoine Bommier & Arnold Chassagnon & François Le Grand, 2010. "Comparative Risk Aversion: A Formal Approach with Applications to Saving Behaviors," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 10/134, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  10. Antoine Bommier, "undated". "Life-Cycle Preferences Revisited," Working Papers ETH-RC-12-001, ETH Zurich, Chair of Systems Design.
  11. Amy Finkelstein & James Poterba, 2000. "Adverse Selection in Insurance Markets: Policyholder Evidence from the U.K. Annuity Market," NBER Working Papers 8045, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Mariacristina deNardi, 2000. "Wealth Inequality and Intergenerational Links," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0547, Econometric Society.
  13. Viscusi, W Kip & Aldy, Joseph E, 2003. "The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 5-76, August.
  14. Han Bleichrodt & Louis Eeckhoudt, 2005. "Saving under rank-dependent utility," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 25(2), pages 505-511, 02.
  15. 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.
  16. Olivia S. Mitchell & James M. Poterba & Mark J. Warshawsky, 1997. "New Evidence on the Money's Worth of Individual Annuities," NBER Working Papers 6002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Larry G. Epstein & Stephen M. Tanny, 1980. "Increasing Generalized Correlation: A Definition and Some Economic Consequences," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 13(1), pages 16-34, February.
  18. Johansson, Per-Olov, 2002. "On the Definition and Age-Dependency of the Value of a Statistical Life," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 251-263, November.
  19. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-969, July.
  20. Mullainathan, Sendhil & Brown, Jeffrey R. & Kling, Jeffrey R. & Wrobel, Marian Vaillant, 2008. "Why Don't People Insure Late Life Consumption? A Framing Explanation of the Under-Annuitization Puzzle," Scholarly Articles 2799056, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  21. Horneff, Wolfram J. & Maurer, Raimond H. & Mitchell, Olivia S. & Stamos, Michael Z., 2010. "Variable payout annuities and dynamic portfolio choice in retirement," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(02), pages 163-183, April.
  22. Steffen Andersen & Glenn W. Harrison & Morten Lau & Elisabet E. Rutstroem, 2011. "Intertemporal Utility and Correlation Aversion," Working Papers 2011_03, Durham University Business School.
  23. Antoine Bommier, 2003. "Risk Aversion, Intertemporal Elasticity of Substitution and Correlation Aversion," Research Unit Working Papers 0307, Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquee, INRA.
  24. Pang, Gaobo & Warshawsky, Mark, 2010. "Optimizing the equity-bond-annuity portfolio in retirement: The impact of uncertain health expenses," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 198-209, February.
  25. Michael Hurd & James P. Smith, 2002. "Expected Bequests and Their Distribution," NBER Working Papers 9142, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Yaari, Menahem E, 1987. "The Dual Theory of Choice under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 95-115, January.
  27. Thomas Davidoff & Jeffrey R. Brown & Peter A. Diamond, 2003. "Annuities and Individual Welfare," NBER Working Papers 9714, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Tullio Jappelli, 1999. "The Age-Wealth Profile and The Life-Cycle Hypothesis: a Cohort Analysis with a Time Series of Cross-Sections of Italian Households," CSEF Working Papers 14, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  29. Chai, Jingjing & Horneff, Wolfram & Maurer, Raimond & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2011. "Optimal Portfolio Choice over the Life-Cycle with Flexible Work, Endogenous Retirement, and Lifetime Payouts," Working Papers 11-43, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, Weiss Center.
  30. Gregor Dorfleitner & Michael Krapp, 2007. "On multiattributive risk aversion: some clarifying results," Review of Managerial Science, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 47-63, April.
  31. repec:reg:rpubli:282 is not listed on IDEAS
  32. Antoine Bommier, 2006. "Uncertain Lifetime And Intertemporal Choice: Risk Aversion As A Rationale For Time Discounting," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1223-1246, November.
  33. Jesus Fernández-Villaverde & Dirk Krueger, 2007. "Consumption over the Life Cycle: Facts from Consumer Expenditure Survey Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 552-565, August.
  34. repec:dau:papers:123456789/4434 is not listed on IDEAS
  35. Johansson, Per-Olov, 2002. "On the Definition and Age-Dependency of the Value of a Statistical Life. A Review and Extension," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 490, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 29 Jan 2002.
  36. Frederick van der Ploeg, 1993. "A Closed-form Solution for a Model of Precautionary Saving," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(2), pages 385-395.
  37. Milevsky, Moshe A. & Young, Virginia R., 2007. "Annuitization and asset allocation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 3138-3177, September.
  38. Sven H. Sinclair & Kent A. Smetters, 2004. "Health Shocks and the Demand for Annuities: Technical Paper 2004-09," Working Papers 15868, Congressional Budget Office.
  39. Scott F. Richard, 1975. "Multivariate Risk Aversion, Utility Independence and Separable Utility Functions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 22(1), pages 12-21, September.
  40. Kihlstrom, Richard E. & Mirman, Leonard J., 1974. "Risk aversion with many commodities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 361-388, July.
  41. Philip J. Cook & Daniel A. Graham, 1977. "The Demand for Insurance and Protection: The Case of Irreplaceable Commodities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 91(1), pages 143-156.
  42. Shlomo Benartzi & Alessandro Previtero & Richard H. Thaler, 2011. "Annuitization Puzzles," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(4), pages 143-164, Fall.
  43. Jeffrey R. Brown, 2007. "Rational and Behavioral Perspectives on the Role of Annuities in Retirement Planning," NBER Working Papers 13537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  44. Amy Finkelstein & James Poterba, 2002. "Selection Effects in the United Kingdom Individual Annuities Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 28-50, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:48:y:2014:i:2:p:135-166. 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: (Sonal Shukla)

or (Rebekah McClure)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.