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The Economic Theory of Annuities

Author

Listed:
  • Eytan Sheshinski

    (Department of Economics, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    Economics Department, Brown University)

Abstract

Annuities are financial products that guarantee the holder a fixed return so long as the holder remains alive, thereby providing insurance against lifetime uncertainty. The terms of these contracts depend on the information available to insurance firms. Unlike age and gender, information about individual survival probabilities cannot be readily ascertained. This asymmetric information causes market inefficiencies, such as adverse selection. Groundbreaking in its scope, The Economic Theory of Annuities offers readers a theoretical analysis of the functioning of private annuity markets. Starting with a general analysis of survival functions, stochastic dominance, and characterization of changes in longevity, Eytan Sheshinski derives the demand for annuities using a model of individuals who jointly choose their lifetime consumption and retirement age. The relation between life insurance and annuities that have a bequest option is examined and "annuity options" are proposed as a response to the lack of secondary markets. This book also investigates the macroeconomic policy implications of annuities and changes in longevity on aggregate savings. Sheshinski utilizes statistical population theory to shed light on the debate of whether the surge in savings and growth in Asia and other countries can be attributed to higher longevity of the population and whether this surge is durable. This book shows how understanding annuities becomes essential as governments that grapple with insolvency of public social security systems place greater emphasis on individual savings accounts

Suggested Citation

  • Eytan Sheshinski, 2007. "The Economic Theory of Annuities," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8536.
  • Handle: RePEc:pup:pbooks:8536
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marie-Louise Leroux, 2011. "Endogenous differential mortality, non-contractible effort and non-linear taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 18(1), pages 56-73, February.
    2. Robert Gazzale & Julian Jamison & Alexander Karlan & Dean Karlan, 2013. "Ambiguous Solicitation: Ambiguous Prescription," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 1002-1011, January.
    3. Marie-Louise Leroux & Gregory Ponthiere, 2009. "Optimal tax policy and expected longevity: a mean and variance utility approach," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 16(4), pages 514-537, August.
    4. Robert S. Gazzale & Lina Walker, 2009. "Behavioral Biases in Annuity Choice: An Experiment," Department of Economics Working Papers 2009-01, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    5. Eytan Sheshinski, 2005. "Longevity and Aggregate Savings," Discussion Paper Series dp403, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
    6. Wong, Chi Heem & Tsui, Albert K., 2015. "Forecasting life expectancy: Evidence from a new survival function," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 208-226.
    7. Eytan Sheshinski, 2010. "Refundable Annuities (Annuity Options)," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(1), pages 7-21, February.
    8. D'Albis, Hippolyte & Thibault, Emmanuel, 2012. "Ambiguous Life Expectancy and the Demand for Annuities," TSE Working Papers 12-323, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    9. Ben Heijdra & Laurie Reijnders, 2013. "Economic Growth and Longevity Risk with Adverse Selection," De Economist, Springer, vol. 161(1), pages 69-97, March.
    10. Marie-Louise Leroux & Grégory Ponthière, 2008. "Optimal tax policy and expected longevity: A mean and variance utility approach," Working Papers halshs-00586247, HAL.
    11. Marie-Louise Leroux, 2010. "The Political Economy of Social Security under Differential Longevity and Voluntary Retirement," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(1), pages 151-170, February.
    12. Shesshinski, Eytan, 2006. "Longevity and Aggregate Savings," MPRA Paper 55165, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Mar 2007.
    13. Felix Reichling & Kent Smetters, 2013. "Optimal Annuitization with Stochastic Mortality Probabilities," NBER Working Papers 19211, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. 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.
    15. Sheshinski, Eytan, 2009. "Uncertain Longevity and Investment in Education," MPRA Paper 53144, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Dávila, Julio & Leroux, Marie-Louise, 2015. "Efficiency in overlapping generations economies with longevity choices and fair annuities," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 363-383.
    17. Strulik, Holger, 2011. "Optimal Aging with Uncertain Death," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-488, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    18. Felix Reichling & Kent Smetters, 2013. "Optimal Annuitization with Stochastic Mortality Probabilities: Working Paper 2013-05," Working Papers 44374, Congressional Budget Office.
    19. Felix Reichling & Kent Smetters, 2015. "Optimal Annuitization with Stochastic Mortality and Correlated Medical Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(11), pages 3273-3320, November.
    20. repec:hrv:faseco:34330197 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Lau, Sau-Him Paul, 2009. "Demographic structure and capital accumulation: A quantitative assessment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 554-567, March.
    22. 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.
    23. Zvi Bodie & Jérôme Detemple & Marcel Rindisbacher, 2009. "Life-Cycle Finance and the Design of Pension Plans," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 249-286, November.

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