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Ambiguous Life Expectancy and the Demand for Annuities

In this paper, ambiguity aversion to uncertain survival probabilities is introduced in a life-cycle model with a bequest motive to study the optimal demand for annuities. Provided that annuities return is sufficiently large, and notably when it is fair, positive annuitization is known to be optimal strategy of ambiguity neutral individuals. Conversely, we show that the demand for annuities decreases with ambiguity aversion and that there exists a finite degree of aversion above which the demand is non positive : the optimal strategy is then to either sell annuities short or to hold zero annuities if the former option is not available. To conclude, ambiguity aversion appears as a relevant candidate for explaining the annuity puzzle.

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File URL: ftp://mse.univ-paris1.fr/pub/mse/CES2012/12050.pdf
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Paper provided by Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne in its series Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne with number 12050.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:12050
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  1. Mullainathan, Sendhil & Brown, Jeffrey R. & Kling, Jeffrey R. & Wrobel, Marian Vaillant, 2008. "Why Don't People Insure Late Life Consumption? A Framing Explanation of the Under-Annuitization Puzzle," Scholarly Articles 2799056, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Alexander Zimper & Alexander Ludwig & Max Groneck, 2012. "A Life-Cycle Consumption Model with Ambiguous Survival Beliefs," 2012 Meeting Papers 693, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Lex Borghans & Bart H.H. Golsteyn & James J. Heckman & Huub Meijers, 2009. "Gender Differences in Risk Aversion and Ambiguity Aversion," NBER Working Papers 14713, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Thibault Gajdos & Takashi Hayashi & Jean-Marc Tallon & Jean-Christophe Vergnaud, 2008. "Attitude toward imprecise information," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00451982, HAL.
  5. Mary Riddel & W. Shaw, 2006. "A theoretically-consistent empirical model of non-expected utility: An application to nuclear-waste transport," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 131-150, March.
  6. Alexander Ludwig & Alexander Zimper, 2008. "A parsimonious model of subjective life expectancy," Working Papers 74, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  7. d’Albis, Hippolyte & Thibault, Emmanuel, 2012. "Optimal annuitization, uncertain survival probabilities, and maxmin preferences," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 296-299.
  8. Shlomo Benartzi & Alessandro Previtero & Richard H. Thaler, 2011. "Annuitization Puzzles," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(4), pages 143-64, Fall.
  9. Peter Klibanoff & Massimo Marinacci & Sujoy Mukerji, 2006. "Recursive Smooth Ambiguity Preferences," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 17, Collegio Carlo Alberto, revised 2008.
  10. Horneff, Wolfram J. & Maurer, Raimond H. & Stamos, Michael Z., 2008. "Life-cycle asset allocation with annuity markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 3590-3612, November.
  11. Nicolas Treich, 2008. "The Value of a Statistical Life under Ambiguity Aversion," CESifo Working Paper Series 2291, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Louis Eeckhoudt & Meglena Jeleva, 2004. "Décision médicale et probabilités imprécises," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 55(5), pages 869-881.
  13. Christian Gollier, 2011. "Portfolio Choices and Asset Prices: The Comparative Statics of Ambiguity Aversion," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(4), pages 1329-1344.
  14. Lex Borghans & Bart H.H. Golsteyn & James J. Heckman & Huub Meijers, 2009. "Gender Differences in Risk Aversion and Ambiguity," Working Papers 200903, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  15. Thomas Post & Katja Hanewald, 2010. "Stochastic Mortality, Subjective Survival Expectations, and Individual Saving Behavior," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2010-040, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  16. Eytan Sheshinski, 2007. "The Economic Theory of Annuities," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8536.
  17. Sujoy Mukerji & Peter Klibanoff, 2002. "A Smooth Model of Decision,Making Under Ambiguity," Economics Series Working Papers 113, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  18. B. Douglas Bernheim, 1989. "How Strong are Bequest Motives? Evidence Based on Estimates of the Demand for Life Insurance and Annuities," NBER Working Papers 2942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Eeckhoudt, Louis & Gollier, Christian, 1995. "Demand for Risky Assets and the Monotone Probability Ratio Order," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 113-22, September.
  20. Kreps, David M & Porteus, Evan L, 1978. "Temporal Resolution of Uncertainty and Dynamic Choice Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 185-200, January.
  21. 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.
  22. Giacomo Ponzetto, 2003. "Risk aversion and the utility of annuities," CeRP Working Papers 31, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  23. Ryan D. Edwards & Shripad Tuljapurkar, 2005. "Inequality in Life Spans and a New Perspective on Mortality Convergence Across Industrialized Countries," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 31(4), pages 645-674.
  24. repec:hal:cesptp:hal-00670320 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
  26. Post Thomas, 2012. "Individual Welfare Gains from Deferred Life-Annuities under Stochastic Mortality," Asia-Pacific Journal of Risk and Insurance, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 1-26, June.
  27. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
  28. Thomas Davidoff & Jeffrey R. Brown & Peter A. Diamond, 2003. "Annuities and Individual Welfare," NBER Working Papers 9714, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Lee Lockwood, 2012. "Bequest Motives and the Annuity Puzzle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(2), pages 226-243, April.
  30. Jeffrey R. Brown, 2007. "Rational and Behavioral Perspectives on the Role of Annuities in Retirement Planning," NBER Working Papers 13537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. None, 2008. "None," NBER Working Papers 13800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Daniel Ellsberg, 2000. "Risk, Ambiguity and the Savage Axioms," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7605, David K. Levine.
  33. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00451982 is not listed on IDEAS
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