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How deep is the annuity market participation puzzle?

  • Joachim Inkmann
  • Paula Lopes
  • Alexander Michaelides

Using U.K. microeconomic data, we analyze the empirical determinants of voluntary annuity market demand. We find that annuity market participation increases with financial wealth, life expectancy and education and decreases with other pension income and a possible bequest motive for surviving spouses. We then show that these empirically-motivated determinants of annuity market participation have the same, quantitatively important, e¤ects in a life-cycle model of annuity demand, saving and portfolio choice. Moreover, reasonable preference parameters predict annuity demand levels comparable to the data, thereby questioning the conventional wisdom that limited annuity market participation is a puzzle to be explained.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/24488/
File Function: Open access version.
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 24488.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:24488
Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.
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Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/

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  1. Gourinchas, P.O. & Parker, J.A., 1997. "Consumption Over the Life Cycle," Working papers 9722, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  2. Campbell, John & Viceira, Luis, 1999. "Consumption and Portfolio Decisions When Expected Returns are Time Varying," Scholarly Articles 3163266, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  7. Campbell, John, 2006. "Household Finance," Scholarly Articles 3157877, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  12. Dushi, Irena & Webb, Anthony, 2004. "Household annuitization decisions: simulations and empirical analyses," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(02), pages 109-143, July.
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  16. Cassio M. Turra & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2004. "The Impact of Health Status and Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenditures on Annuity Valuation," Working Papers wp086, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  17. Cagetti, Marco, 2003. "Wealth Accumulation over the Life Cycle and Precautionary Savings," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 21(3), pages 339-53, July.
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