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Market Evidence of Misperceived Prices and Mistaken Mortality Risks

Author

Listed:
  • Jay Bhattacharya
  • Dana Goldman
  • Neeraj Sood

Abstract

We construct and implement a test of rational consumer behavior in a highstakes financial market. In particular, we test whether consumers make systematic mistakes in perceiving their mortality risks. We implement this test using data from secondary life insurance markets where consumers with a lifethreatening illness sell their life insurance policies to firms in return for an up-front payment. We compare predictions from two models: one with consumers who correctly perceive their mortality risk, and one with consumers who are misguided about their life expectancy, and find that our data are most consistent with the predictions made by the second model.

Suggested Citation

  • Jay Bhattacharya & Dana Goldman & Neeraj Sood, 2003. "Market Evidence of Misperceived Prices and Mistaken Mortality Risks," NBER Working Papers 9863, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9863
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Terrance Odean, 1998. "Are Investors Reluctant to Realize Their Losses?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1775-1798, October.
    2. Matthew Rabin, 1998. "Psychology and Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 11-46, March.
    3. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    4. Sendhil Mullainathan & Richard H. Thaler, 2000. "Behavioral Economics," NBER Working Papers 7948, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alma Cohen & Peter Siegelman, 2010. "Testing for Adverse Selection in Insurance Markets," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 77(1), pages 39-84.
    2. Sandroni, Alvaro & Squintani, Francesco, 2013. "Overconfidence and asymmetric information: The case of insurance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 149-165.
    3. Yamamoto, Shinichi & Yoneyama, Takau & Kwon, W. Jean, 2012. "An Experimental Study On Adverse Selection And Moral Hazard," Hitotsubashi Journal of commerce and management, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 46(1), pages 51-64, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty

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