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Health and Mortality Delta: Assessing the Welfare Cost of Household Insurance Choice

  • Ralph Koijen
  • Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh
  • Motohiro Yogo

We develop a pair of risk measures, health and mortality delta, for the universe of life and health insurance products. A life-cycle model of insurance choice simplifies to replicating the optimal health and mortality delta through a portfolio of insurance products. We estimate the model to explain the observed variation in health and mortality delta implied by the ownership of life insurance, annuities including private pensions, and long-term care insurance in the Health and Retirement Study. For the median household aged 51 to 57, the lifetime welfare cost of market incompleteness and suboptimal choice is 3.2% of total wealth.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17325.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17325.

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Date of creation: Aug 2011
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Publication status: published as Ralph S.J. Koijen & Stijn Nieuwerburgh & Motohiro Yogo, 2016. "Health and Mortality Delta: Assessing the Welfare Cost of Household Insurance Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 71(2), pages 957-1010, 04.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17325
Note: AG AP HE
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