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The Increasing Annuitization of the Elderly- Estimates and Implications for Intergenerational Tranfers, Inequality, and National Saving

  • Alan J. Auerbach
  • Laurence J. Kotlikoff
  • David N. Weil

This paper examines changes over time in the degree to which the resources (human plus nonhuman wealth) of the elderly have been annuitized. Using data from the 1962 and 1983 Federal Reserve Surveys of Consumer Finances we find evidence of an increase in annuitization which is particularly pronounced among the older elderly (those over 75) and among women. The estimated 1983 flow of aggregate bequests to children and grandchildren would have been 20% larger were it not for this increase in annuitization. The change in annuitization may have contributed significantly to the recent decline of the U.S. national saving rate.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4182.

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Date of creation: Oct 1992
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4182
Note: AG
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  1. Martin Feldstein & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2001. "Social Security," NBER Working Papers 8451, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Social security," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324 Elsevier.
  2. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1987. "IRAs and Saving," NBER Chapters, in: The Effects of Taxation on Capital Accumulation, pages 7-52 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Zvi Bodie & John B. Shoven & David A. Wise, 1988. "Pensions in the U.S. Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bodi88-1, December.
  4. Joseph G. Altonji & Fumio Hayashi & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1989. "Is the Extended Family Altruistically Linked? Direct Tests Using Micro Data," NBER Working Papers 3046, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Hurd, Michael D, 1990. "Research on the Elderly: Economic Status, Retirement, and Consumption and Saving," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 565-637, June.
  6. 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.
  7. Ann McDermed & Robert L. Clark & Steven G. Allen, 1989. "Pension Wealth, Age-Wealth Profiles, and the Distribution of Net Worth," NBER Chapters, in: The Measurement of Saving, Investment, and Wealth, pages 689-736 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Michael D. Hurd & David A. Wise, 1987. "The Wealth and Poverty of Widows: Assets Before and After the Husband's Death," NBER Working Papers 2325, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Benjamin M. Friedman & Mark Warshawsky, 1988. "Annuity Prices and Saving Behavior in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Pensions in the U.S. Economy, pages 53-84 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1987. "Intergenerational Transfers and Savings," NBER Working Papers 2237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Benjamin M. Friedman & Mark Warshawsky, 1985. "Annuity Prices and Saving Behavior in the United States," NBER Working Papers 1683, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Davies, James B, 1981. "Uncertain Lifetime, Consumption, and Dissaving in Retirement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(3), pages 561-77, June.
  13. Abel, Andrew B, 1985. "Precautionary Saving and Accidental Bequests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 777-91, September.
  14. Robert B. Avery & Gregory E. Elliehausen, 1986. "Financial characteristics of high-income families," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Mar, pages 163-177.
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