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A Life-Cycle Model with Ambiguous Survival Beliefs

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  • Max Groneck
  • Ludwig, Alexander
  • Alexander Zimper

    (Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA))

Abstract

Based on a cognitive notion of neo-additive capacities reflecting likelihood insensitivity with respect to survival chances, we construct a Choquet Bayesian learning model over the life-cycle that generates a motivational notion of neo-additive survival beliefs expressing ambiguity attitudes. We embed these neo-additive survival beliefs as decision weights in a Choquet expected utility life-cycle consumption model and calibrate it with data on subjective survival beliefs from the Health and Retirement Study. Our quantitative analysis shows that agents with calibrated neo-additive survival beliefs (i) save less than originally planned, (ii) exhibit undersaving at younger ages, and (iii) hold larger amounts of assets in old age than their rational expectations counterparts who correctly assess their survival chances. Our neo-additive life-cycle model can therefore simultaneously accommodate three important empirical findings on household saving behavior.
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Suggested Citation

  • Max Groneck & Ludwig, Alexander & Alexander Zimper, 2013. "A Life-Cycle Model with Ambiguous Survival Beliefs," MEA discussion paper series 201305, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:mea:meawpa:201305
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    Cited by:

    1. Rawley Z. Heimer & Kristian Ove R. Myrseth & Raphael S. Schoenle, 2019. "YOLO: Mortality Beliefs and Household Finance Puzzles," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 74(6), pages 2957-2996, December.
    2. Nils Grevenbrock & Max Groneck & Alexander Ludwig & Alexander Zimper, 2021. "Cognition, Optimism, And The Formation Of Age‐Dependent Survival Beliefs," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 62(2), pages 887-918, May.
    3. Caliendo, Frank N. & Gorry, Aspen & Slavov, Sita, 2020. "Survival ambiguity and welfare," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 20-42.
    4. Groneck, Max & Ludwig, Alexander & Zimper, Alexander, 2013. "Ambiguous Survival Beliefs and Hyperbolic Discounting in a Life-Cycle Model," VfS Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79878, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. de Bresser, Jochem, 2019. "The Role of Heterogeneous Expectations in Life Cycle Models : Evaluating the Accuracy of Counterfactuals," Other publications TiSEM 25d04a47-1020-47eb-ba94-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    6. Groneck, Max & Ludwig, Alexander & Zimper, Alexander, 2019. "Who Saves More, the Naive or the Sophisticated Agent?," SAFE Working Paper Series 169, Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE.
    7. Hippolyte d’Albis & Emmanuel Thibault, 2018. "Ambiguous life expectancy and the demand for annuities," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 85(3), pages 303-319, October.
    8. de Bresser, Jochem, 2021. "Evaluating the Accuracy of Counterfactuals The Role of Heterogeneous Expectations in Life Cycle Models," Other publications TiSEM a7e2b4d8-fed0-4e86-926f-d, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    9. Grevenbrock, Nils & Groneck, Max & Ludwig, Alexander & Zimper, Alexander, 2015. "Biased Survival Beliefs, Psychological and Cognitive Explanations, and the Demand for Life Insurances," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113203, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Adriaan Kalwij & Vesile Kutlu Koc, 2021. "Is the accuracy of individuals' survival beliefs associated with their knowledge of population life expectancy?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 45(14), pages 453-468.
    11. Emy Lécuyer & Jean-Philippe Lefort, 2021. "Put–call parity and generalized neo-additive pricing rules," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 90(3), pages 521-542, May.
    12. Huang, H. & Milevsky, M.A. & Salisbury, T.S., 2017. "Retirement spending and biological age," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 58-76.
    13. Alexander Zimper & Wei Ma, 2017. "Bayesian learning with multiple priors and nonvanishing ambiguity," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 64(3), pages 409-447, October.
    14. Richard Foltyn & Jonna Olsson, 2021. "Subjective Life Expectancies, Time Preference Heterogeneity, and Wealth Inequality," Working Papers 2021_13, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    15. de Bresser, Jochem, 2021. "Evaluating the Accuracy of Counterfactuals The Role of Heterogeneous Expectations in Life Cycle Models," Discussion Paper 2021-034, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.

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    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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