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Health Information and Subjective Survival Probability: Evidence from Taiwan

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  • Jin-Tan Liu
  • Meng-Wen Tsou
  • James K. Hammitt

Abstract

The effect of new health information on individuals' expectations about their longevity is examined using a Bayesian learning model. Using two-period panel-structured survey data from Taiwan, we find that subjective probabilities of living to age 75 and 85 are significantly smaller for respondents with more abnormal medical test outcomes and for those receiving more extensive advice on health behavior from their physicians. The subjective probability of survival declines with health shocks such as developing heart disease. Using pooled cross-sectional data, we find that males and married persons are more optimistic about their longevity expectations than females and single persons, and that income is strongly correlated with the subjective probability of living to age 75. Consistent with previous studies, the longevity of the same-sex parent is strongly associated with an individual's own expectation of living to age 75.

Suggested Citation

  • Jin-Tan Liu & Meng-Wen Tsou & James K. Hammitt, 2007. "Health Information and Subjective Survival Probability: Evidence from Taiwan," Journal of Risk Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(2), pages 149-175, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jriskr:v:10:y:2007:i:2:p:149-175
    DOI: 10.1080/13669870701191802
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Christian Gollier, 2014. "Optimal insurance design of ambiguous risks," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 57(3), pages 555-576, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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