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A parsimonious model of subjective life expectancy

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  • A. Ludwig

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  • A. Zimper

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Abstract

On average, “young” people underestimate whereas “old” people overestimate their chances to survive into the future. Such subjective survival beliefs violate the rational expectations paradigm and are also not in line with models of rational Bayesian learning. In order to explain these empirical patterns in a parsimonious manner, we assume that self-reported beliefs express likelihood insensitivity and can, therefore, be modeled as non-additive beliefs. In a next step we introduce a closed form model of Bayesian learning for non-additive beliefs which combines rational learning with psychological attitudes in the interpretation of information. Our model gives a remarkable fit to average subjective survival beliefs reported in the Health and Retirement Study. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Suggested Citation

  • A. Ludwig & A. Zimper, 2013. "A parsimonious model of subjective life expectancy," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 75(4), pages 519-541, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:theord:v:75:y:2013:i:4:p:519-541 DOI: 10.1007/s11238-013-9355-6
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Philippe De Donder & Marie-Louise Leroux, 2012. "Behavioral Biases and Long Term Care Annuities: A Political Economy Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 3972, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Leroux, M.-L. & Pestieau, P. & Ponthiere, G., 2011. "Longevity, genes and efforts: An optimal taxation approach to prevention," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, pages 62-76.
    3. Leroux, Marie-Louise & Pestieau, Pierre & Ponthière, Grégory, 2015. "Longévité différentielle et redistribution : enjeux théoriques et empiriques," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 91(4), pages 465-497, Décembre.
    4. Wu, Shang & Stevens, Ralph & Thorp, Susan, 2015. "Cohort and target age effects on subjective survival probabilities: Implications for models of the retirement phase," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 39-56.
    5. Beshears, John & Choi, James J. & Laibson, David & Madrian, Brigitte C. & Zeldes, Stephen P., 2014. "What makes annuitization more appealing?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 2-16.
      • John Beshears & James Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Stephen P. Zeldes, 2012. "What Makes Annuitization More Appealing?," NBER Chapters,in: Retirement Benefits for State and Local Employees: Designing Pension Plans for the Twenty-First Century National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Grevenbrock, Nils & Groneck, Max & Ludwig, Alexander & Zimper, Alexander, 2015. "Biased Survival Beliefs, Psychological and Cognitive Explanations, and the Demand for Life Insurances," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113203, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. repec:mea:meawpa:13270 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Huynh, Kim P. & Jung, Juergen, 2015. "Subjective health expectations," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, pages 693-711.
    9. Drouhin, Nicolas, 2015. "A rank-dependent utility model of uncertain lifetime," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 208-224.
    10. Alexander Ludwig & Alexander Zimper, 2013. "A decision-theoretic model of asset-price underreaction and overreaction to dividend news," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 625-665, November.
    11. Groneck, Max & Ludwig, Alexander & Zimper, Alexander, 2016. "A life-cycle model with ambiguous survival beliefs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 137-180.
    12. D'Albis, Hippolyte & Thibault, Emmanuel, 2012. "Ambiguous Life Expectancy and the Demand for Annuities," TSE Working Papers 12-323, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    13. De Donder Philippe & Leroux Marie-Louise, 2013. "Behavioral Biases and Long-Term Care Insurance: A Political Economy Approach," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, pages 551-575.
    14. Aylit Tina Romm, 2014. "An interpretation of focal point responses as non-additive beliefs," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 9(5), pages 387-402, September.
    15. repec:eee:hapoch:v1_781 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. John Payne & Namika Sagara & Suzanne Shu & Kirstin Appelt & Eric Johnson, 2013. "Life expectancy as a constructed belief: Evidence of a live-to or die-by framing effect," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 27-50, February.
    17. Raimond Maurer & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2016. "Older People’s Willingness to Delay Social Security Claiming," Working Papers wp346, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    18. Teresa Bago d'Uva & Esen Erdogan Ciftci & Owen O'Donnell & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2015. "Who can predict their Own Demise? Accuracy of Longevity Expectations by Education and Cognition," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-052/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    19. Nicolas Drouhin, 2012. "A rank-dependent utility model of uncertain lifetime, time consistency and life insurance," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00748662, HAL.
    20. Marco Rojas & Damián Vergara, 2016. "Ambiguity is Detrimental for Long-Run Cooperation," Working Papers wp415, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
    21. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00721281 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Representative agent; Subjective survival expectations ; Likelihood insensitivity; Choquet decision theory; Bayesian learning; C44; D83; D91; I10;

    JEL classification:

    • C44 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Operations Research; Statistical Decision Theory
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General

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