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

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.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series Economics working papers with number 2004-14.

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Date of creation: Dec 2004
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Handle: RePEc:jku:econwp:2004_14
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  1. Johann K. Brunner & Susanne Pech, 2002. "Adverse selection in the annuity market with sequential and simultaneous insurance demand," Economics working papers 2002-04, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  2. Olivia S. Mitchell & James M. Poterba & Mark J. Warshawsky, . "New Evidence on the Money's Worth of Individual Annuities," Pension Research Council Working Papers 97-9, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
  3. Susanne Pech, 2002. "Tax incentives for private life annuities and the social security reform: Effects on consumption and on adverse selection," Economics working papers 2002-09, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  4. Andrew B. Abel, 1985. "Capital Accumulation and Uncertain Lifetimes with Adverse Selection," NBER Working Papers 1664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Banks, James & Blundell, Richard & Tanner, Sarah, 1998. "Is There a Retirement-Savings Puzzle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 769-88, September.
  6. Strawczynski, Michel, 1999. "Income uncertainty and the demand for annuities," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 91-96, April.
  7. Amy Finkelstein & James Poterba, 2002. "Selection Effects in the United Kingdom Individual Annuities Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 28-50, January.
  8. Orazio P. Attanasio & Hilary Williamson Hoynes, 2000. "Differential Mortality and Wealth Accumulation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(1), pages 1-29.
  9. Rodepeter, Ralf & Winter, Joachim, 1998. "Savings decisions under life-time and earnings uncertainty:," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 98-58, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  10. Peter Townley & Robin Boadway, 1986. "Social Security and the Failure of Annuity Markets," Working Papers 652, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  11. Lee A. Lillard & Constantijn W. A. Panis, 1998. "Panel Attrition from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics: Household Income, Marital Status, and Mortality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(2), pages 437-457.
  12. 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.
  13. Davies, James B, 1981. "Uncertain Lifetime, Consumption, and Dissaving in Retirement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(3), pages 561-77, June.
  14. Eckstein, Zvi & Eichenbaum, Martin & Peled, Dan, 1985. "Uncertain lifetimes and the welfare enhancing properties of annuity markets and social security," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 303-326, April.
  15. Lillard, L.A. & Waite, L.J., 1996. "Marital Disruption and Mortality," Papers 96-01, RAND - Reprint Series.
  16. 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.
  17. Walliser, Jan, 2000. " Adverse Selection in the Annuities Market and the Impact of Privatizing Social Security," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(3), pages 373-93, June.
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