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Rational Impatience ?

  • Antoine Bommier

    ()

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

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, 2004. "Risk Aversion and the Value of Risk to Life," CESifo Working Paper Series 1267, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Francisco J. Gomes & Alexander Michaelides, 2003. "Portfolio choice with internal habit formation : a life-cycle model with uninsurable labor income risk," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 196, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. 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.
  4. Antoine Bommier, 2001. "Uncertain lifetime and intertemporal choice : risk aversion as a rationale for time discounting," Research Unit Working Papers 0108, Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquee, INRA.
  5. 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.
  6. Kihlstrom, Richard E. & Mirman, Leonard J., 1974. "Risk aversion with many commodities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 361-388, July.
  7. Sandra J. Peart, 2000. "Irrationality and intertemporal choice in early neoclassical thought," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(1), pages 175-189, February.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Boucekkine, Raouf & de la Croix, David & Licandro, Omar, 2000. "Vintage Human Capital, Demographic Trends and Endogenous Growth," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2000007, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  11. Rajnish Mehra & Edward C. Prescott, 2003. "The Equity Premium in Retrospect," NBER Working Papers 9525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Scott F. Richard, 1975. "Multivariate Risk Aversion, Utility Independence and Separable Utility Functions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 22(1), pages 12-21, September.
  13. Bommier, Antoine & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 2003. "Risk Aversion and Planning Horizon," IDEI Working Papers 204, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Nov 2004.
  14. 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.
  15. Arthur Robson & Larry Samuelson, 2008. "The Evolution of Decision and Experienced Utilities," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1678, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Feb 2010.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Rogers, Alan R, 1994. "Evolution of Time Preference by Natural Selection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 460-81, June.
  19. 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.
  20. Eytan Sheshinski, 2005. "Longevity and Aggregate Savings," Discussion Paper Series dp403, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  21. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 2007. "The Value of Life and the Rise in Health Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 39-72.
  22. Blanchard, Olivier J, 1985. "Debt, Deficits, and Finite Horizons," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 223-47, April.
  23. George J. Stigler, 1950. "The Development of Utility Theory. II," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 373.
  24. Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 2006. "The Value of Health and Longevity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(5), pages 871-904, October.
  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. 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.
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