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Rational Impatience ?

  • Antoine Bommier


    (GREMAQ - Groupe de recherche en économie mathématique et quantitative - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

This paper introduces a life-cycle model where impatience, instead of being driven by an exogenous discount function, results from the combination of risk aversion and mortality risks. Opting for such a formulation provides novel views on the impact of longevity extension on welfare, saving behavior and capital accumulation. In particular, we show that longevity extension may have much larger impacts on capital accumulation and equilibrium rate of interest than is usually thought. Moreover, we show that the adherence to the additive life cycle model introduced by Yaari (1965) may lead to significantly overstimating the welfare gains due to mortality risk reduction.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number hal-00441880.

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Date of creation: 11 Apr 2008
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00441880
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  1. Antoine Bommier & Bertrand Villeneuve, 2010. "Risk Aversion and the Value of Risk to Life," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 10/133, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  2. Eytan Sheshinski, 2006. "Longevity and Aggregate Savings," CESifo Working Paper Series 1828, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Antoine Bommier & Ronald D. Lee, 2003. "Overlapping generations models with realistic demography," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 16(1), pages 135-160, 02.
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  8. Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 2005. "The Value of Health and Longevity," NBER Working Papers 11405, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Rajnish Mehra & Edward C. Prescott, 2003. "The Equity Premium in Retrospect," NBER Working Papers 9525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Gary S. Becker & Tomas J. Philipson & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2003. "The Quantity and Quality of Life and the Evolution of World Inequality," NBER Working Papers 9765, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Gomes, Francisco J & Michaelides, Alexander, 2003. "Portfolio Choice with Internal Habit Formation: A Life-Cycle Model with Uninsurable Labour Income Risk," CEPR Discussion Papers 3868, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Jeffrey Brown & Jeffrey B. Liebman & Joshua Pollet, 2002. "Appendix. Estimating Life Tables That Reflect Socioeconomic Differences In Mortality," NBER Chapters, in: The Distributional Aspects of Social Security and Social Security Reform, pages 447-458 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Saul Pleeter & John T. Warner, 2001. "The Personal Discount Rate: Evidence from Military Downsizing Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 33-53, March.
  14. Lawrance, Emily C, 1991. "Poverty and the Rate of Time Preference: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 54-77, February.
  15. 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 937-69, July.
  16. Siegel, Jeremy J., 1992. "The real rate of interest from 1800-1990 : A study of the U.S. and the U.K," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 227-252, April.
  17. Ahn, Chang Mo, 1989. " The Effect of Temporal Risk Aversion on Optimal Consumption, the Equity Premium, and the Equilibrium Interest Rate," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(5), pages 1411-20, December.
  18. Bommier, Antoine & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 2003. "Risk Aversion and Planning Horizon," IDEI Working Papers 204, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Nov 2004.
  19. Scott F. Richard, 1975. "Multivariate Risk Aversion, Utility Independence and Separable Utility Functions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 22(1), pages 12-21, September.
  20. Kihlstrom, Richard E. & Mirman, Leonard J., 1974. "Risk aversion with many commodities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 361-388, July.
  21. Olivier J. Blanchard, 1984. "Debt, Deficits and Finite Horizons," NBER Working Papers 1389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Valery Polkovnichenko, 2007. "Life-Cycle Portfolio Choice with Additive Habit Formation Preferences and Uninsurable Labor Income Risk," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(1), pages 83-124, January.
  23. George J. Stigler, 1950. "The Development of Utility Theory. I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 307.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. Rogers, Alan R, 1994. "Evolution of Time Preference by Natural Selection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 460-81, June.
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