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Can the longevity risk alleviate The annuitization puzzle? Empirical evidence from Dutch data

  • Federica Teppa


    (De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) and Netspar)

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    This paper provides new evidence on individual preferences over annuities and lump sum payments based on hypothetical questions posed in the DNB Household Survey in 2005. Contrary to the majority of papers in the annuitization puzzle literature, this study allows to control explicitly for the subjective survival probability (SSP), a key driver of the decision about whether to annuitize or not as a perceived measure of longevity risk. We find that people expecting to live longer do claim to prefer the annuity. This finding is very robust to controlling for bequest motives. The relevance of this paper is twofold. First, it delivers an important empirical result on the role of the SSP that is still not directly tested in the literature. Second and more important, combined with the empirical evidence that on average individuals tend to systematically underestimate their life expectancy, the findings have strong policy implications. The annuitization puzzle may be alleviated by helping individuals in better assessng their longevity risk, rather than forcing their actions.

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    Paper provided by ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality in its series Working Papers with number 223.

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    Length: 34 pages
    Date of creation: 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2011-223
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    1. Thomas Davidoff & Jeffrey R. Brown & Peter A. Diamond, 2005. "Annuities and Individual Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1573-1590, December.
    2. Edmund Cannon & Ian Tonks, 2004. "U.K. Annuity Rates, Money's Worth and Pension Replacement Ratios 1957–2002," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 29(3), pages 371-393, July.
    3. Jeffrey R. Brown & Jeffrey R. Kling & Sendhil Mullainathan & Marian V. Wrobel, 2008. "Why Don't People Insure Late Life Consumption: A Framing Explanation of the Under-Annuitization Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 13748, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Vidal-Meli , Carlos & Lej Rraga-Garc A, Ana, 2006. "Demand for life annuities from married couples with a bequest motive," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(02), pages 197-229, July.
    5. Owen O'Donnell & Federica Teppa & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2008. "Can subjective survival expectations explain retirement behaviour?," DNB Working Papers 188, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    6. repec:fda:fdaddt:2005-11 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Monika Bütler & Federica Teppa, 2007. "The choice between an annuity and a lump sum: Results from Swiss pension funds," NBER Chapters, in: Trans-Atlantic Public Economics Seminar (TAPES), Public Policy and Retirement, pages 1944-1966 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John B. Jones, 2010. "Why Do the Elderly Save? The Role of Medical Expenses," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(1), pages 39-75, 02.
    9. Benjamin M. Friedman & Mark Warshawsky, 1985. "The Cost of Annuities: Implications for Saving Behavior and Bequests," NBER Working Papers 1682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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