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Late-in-Life Risks and the Under-Insurance Puzzle

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Listed:
  • John Ameriks
  • Joseph Briggs
  • Andrew Caplin
  • Matthew D. Shapiro
  • Christopher Tonetti

Abstract

Individuals face significant late-in-life risks, including needing long-term care (LTC). Yet, they hold little long-term care insurance (LTCI). Using both “strategic survey questions,” which identify preferences, and stated demand questions, this paper investigates the degree to which a fundamental lack of interest and poor product features determine low LTCI holdings. It estimates a rich set of individual-level preferences and uses a life-cycle model to predict insurance demand, finding that better insurance would be far more widely held than are products in the market. Comparing stated and model-predicted demand shows that flaws in existing products provide a significant, but partial, explanation for this under-insurance puzzle.

Suggested Citation

  • John Ameriks & Joseph Briggs & Andrew Caplin & Matthew D. Shapiro & Christopher Tonetti, 2016. "Late-in-Life Risks and the Under-Insurance Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 22726, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22726
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. John Y. Campbell, 2016. "Restoring Rational Choice: The Challenge of Consumer Financial Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 1-30, May.
    2. Martin Boyer & Philippe De Donder & Claude Fluet & Marie-Louise Leroux & Pierre-Carl Michaud, 2017. "Long-Term Care Insurance: Knowledge Barriers, Risk Perception and Adverse Selection," NBER Working Papers 23918, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Braun, R. Anton & Kopecky, Karen A. & Koreshkova, Tatyana, 2017. "Old, Frail, and Uninsured: Accounting for Puzzles in the U.S. Long-Term Care Insurance Market," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2017-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, revised 01 Jul 2017.
    4. John Ameriks & Joseph S. Briggs & Andrew Caplin & Minjoon Lee & Matthew D. Shapiro & Christopher Tonetti, 2017. "Older Americans Would Work Longer If Jobs Were Flexible," NBER Working Papers 24008, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Jonathan A. Parker & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2017. "Reported Preference vs. Revealed Preference: Evidence from the Propensity to Spend Tax Rebates," NBER Working Papers 23920, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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