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Evidence on Individual Preferences for Longevity Risk

  • G. Delprat
  • M.-L. Leroux
  • P.-C. Michaud

The standard model of intertemporal choice assumes risk neutrality toward the length of life: due to additivity, agents are not sensitive to a mean preserving spread in the length of life. Using a survey fielded in the RAND American Life Panel (ALP), this paper provides empirical evidence on possible deviation from risk neutrality with respect to longevity in the U.S. population. The questions we ask allow to find the distribution as well as to quantify the degree of risk aversion with respect to the length of life in the population. We find evidence that roughly 75% of respondents were not neutral with respect to longevity risk. Higher income households are more likely to be risk averse. We do not find evidence that the degree of risk aversion varies with age or education.

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Paper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 1304.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:1304
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  1. Marc Fleurbaey & Marie-Louise Leroux & Grégory Ponthière, 2010. "Compensating the dead? Yes we can!," PSE Working Papers halshs-00564934, HAL.
  2. Bommier, Antoine & Villeneuve, Bertrand, 2008. "Risk Aversion and the Value of Risk to Life," MPRA Paper 11943, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Leroux, M.-L. & Pestieau, P. & Ponthiere, G., 2011. "Longevity, genes and efforts: An optimal taxation approach to prevention," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 62-76, 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. Bommier, Antoine & Leroux, Marie-Louise & Lozachmeur, Jean-Marie, 2011. "On the public economics of annuities with differential mortality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 612-623, August.
  6. Antoine Bommier & Marie-Louise Leroux & Jean-Marie Lozachmeur, 2011. "Differential mortality and social security," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 44(1), pages 273-289, February.
  7. Joseph E. Aldy & W. Kip Viscusi, 2004. "Age Variations in Workers' Value of Statistical Life," NBER Working Papers 10199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. André Masson & Daniel Verger & Luc Arrondel, 2004. "Mesurer les préférences individuelles à l'égard du risque," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 374(1), pages 53-85.
  9. Cagetti, Marco, 2003. "Wealth Accumulation over the Life Cycle and Precautionary Savings," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 21(3), pages 339-53, July.
  10. 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.
  11. Kihlstrom, Richard E. & Mirman, Leonard J., 1974. "Risk aversion with many commodities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 361-388, July.
  12. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00564934 is not listed on IDEAS
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