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Portfolio decisions on life annuities and financial assets with longevity and income uncertainty

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Abstract

There are two stylised facts, namely weak demand for life-annuities and flat age-wealth profile that contradict the life-cycle hypothesis. In this paper we design a theoretical framework, which combines plausible arguments, which have been put forward in the literature to reconcile theory with empirical evidence. Besides the existence of an annuity market and of a public pension system we assume risk-averse individuals who are uncertain about lifetime and disposable income and who have preferences for leaving bequests. It is shown that this framework can contribute to explain the observed portfolio decision in favour of financial assets relatively to annuities.

Suggested Citation

  • Susanne Pech, 2004. "Portfolio decisions on life annuities and financial assets with longevity and income uncertainty," Economics working papers 2004-14, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  • Handle: RePEc:jku:econwp:2004_14
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    1. Johann K. Brunner & Susanne Pech, 2006. "Adverse selection in the annuity market with sequential and simultaneous insurance demand," The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics (The Geneva Association), vol. 31(2), pages 111-146, December.
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    5. Abel, Andrew B, 1986. "Capital Accumulation and Uncertain Lifetimes with Adverse Selection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1079-1097, September.
    6. Banks, James & Blundell, Richard & Tanner, Sarah, 1998. "Is There a Retirement-Savings Puzzle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 769-788, September.
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    10. Johann K. Brunner & Susanne Pech, 2000. "Adverse selection in the annuity market when payoffs vary over the time of retirement," Economics working papers 2000-30, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    11. Davies, James B, 1981. "Uncertain Lifetime, Consumption, and Dissaving in Retirement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(3), pages 561-577, June.
    12. Townley, Peter G. C. & Boadway, Robin W., 1988. "Social security and the failure of annuity markets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 75-96, February.
    13. R Disney & C Emmerson & M Wakefield, 2001. "Pension reform and saving in Britain," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(1), pages 70-94, Spring.
    14. Susanne Pech, 2004. "Tax Incentives for Private Life Annuities and the Social Security Reform: Effects on Consumption and on Adverse Selection," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 60(4), pages 556-556, December.
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    Keywords

    savings; life annuities; bequests; uncertain lifetime; uncertain income; social security;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

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