IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pra/mprapa/64005.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Racial Disparities in Life Insurance Coverage

Author

Listed:
  • Harris, Timothy
  • Yelowitz, Aaron

Abstract

We evaluate the extent to which there are racial disparities in life insurance coverage using multiple years of the Survey of Income and Program Participation between 2001 and 2010. We find that African-Americans hold significantly more life insurance after controlling for other factors, especially employer-sponsored and whole life insurance. We demonstrate that our findings diverge from prior work because we examine all households instead of focusing exclusively on married and cohabitating households. The findings on life insurance coverage and composition imply that earnings shocks due to mortality are not a contributing factor to racial disparities in wealth.

Suggested Citation

  • Harris, Timothy & Yelowitz, Aaron, 2015. "Racial Disparities in Life Insurance Coverage," MPRA Paper 64005, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:64005
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/64005/1/MPRA_paper_64005.pdf
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nadine Gatzert & Hannah Wesker, 2014. "Mortality Risk and Its Effect on Shortfall and Risk Management in Life Insurance," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 81(1), pages 57-90, March.
    2. Donghui Li & Fariborz Moshirian & Pascal Nguyen & Timothy Wee, 2007. "The Demand for Life Insurance in OECD Countries," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 74(3), pages 637-652, September.
    3. Jonathan Gruber & Aaron Yelowitz, 1999. "Public Health Insurance and Private Savings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1249-1274, December.
    4. Maury Gittleman & Edward N. Wolff, 2004. "Racial Differences in Patterns of Wealth Accumulation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
    5. Andre P. Liebenberg & James M. Carson & Randy E. Dumm, 2012. "A Dynamic Analysis of the Demand for Life Insurance," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 79(3), pages 619-644, September.
    6. Jonah B. Gelbach, 2016. "When Do Covariates Matter? And Which Ones, and How Much?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(2), pages 509-543.
    7. Kopczuk Wojciech & Slemrod Joel, 2005. "Denial of Death and Economic Behavior," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-26, August.
    8. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
    9. He, Daifeng, 2009. "The life insurance market: Asymmetric information revisited," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(9-10), pages 1090-1097, October.
    10. Barsky R. & Bound J. & Charles K.K. & Lupton J.P., 2002. "Accounting for the Black-White Wealth Gap: A Nonparametric Approach," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 663-673, September.
    11. Yijia Lin & Martin F. Grace, 2007. "Household Life Cycle Protection: Life Insurance Holdings, Financial Vulnerability, and Portfolio Implications," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 74(1), pages 141-173, March.
    12. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
    13. Ehrlich, Isaac & Becker, Gary S, 1972. "Market Insurance, Self-Insurance, and Self-Protection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(4), pages 623-648, July-Aug..
    14. Dehejia, Rajeev & DeLeire, Thomas & Luttmer, Erzo F.P., 2007. "Insuring consumption and happiness through religious organizations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 259-279, February.
    15. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan & Eldar Shafir, 2004. "A Behavioral-Economics View of Poverty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 419-423, May.
    16. Tomas Philipson & John Cawley, 1999. "An Empirical Examination of Information Barriers to Trade in Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 827-846, September.
    17. Orazio P. Attanasio & Hilary Williamson Hoynes, 2000. "Differential Mortality and Wealth Accumulation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(1), pages 1-29.
    18. Jappelli, Tullio & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2003. "Tax incentives and the demand for life insurance: evidence from Italy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1779-1799, August.
    19. Joseph G. Altonji & Ulrich Doraszelski, 2005. "The Role of Permanent Income and Demographics in Black/White Differences in Wealth," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(1).
    20. Santosh Anagol & Shawn Cole & Shayak Sarkar, 2012. "Understanding the Advice of Commissions-Motivated Agents: Evidence from the Indian Life Insurance Market," Harvard Business School Working Papers 12-055, Harvard Business School, revised Oct 2015.
    21. B. Douglas Bernheim & Lorenzo Forni & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 2003. "The Mismatch Between Life Insurance Holdings and Financial Vulnerabilities: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 354-365, March.
    22. Cotton, Jeremiah, 1988. "On the Decomposition of Wage Differentials," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 236-243, May.
    23. Michael S. Gutter & Charles B. Hatcher, 2008. "Racial Differences in the Demand for Life Insurance," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 75(3), pages 677-689, September.
    24. Joachim Inkmann & Alexander Michaelides, 2012. "Can the Life Insurance Market Provide Evidence for a Bequest Motive?," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 79(3), pages 671-695, September.
    25. Reimers, Cordelia W, 1983. "Labor Market Discrimination against Hispanic and Black Men," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(4), pages 570-579, November.
    26. Harris, Timothy & Yelowitz, Aaron, 2014. "Is there adverse selection in the life insurance market? Evidence from a representative sample of purchasers," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 124(3), pages 520-522.
    27. Arthur B kennickell, 2008. "The role of over-sampling of the wealthy in the survey of consumer finances," IFC Bulletins chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), The IFC's contribution to the 56th ISI Session, Lisbon, August 2007, volume 28, pages 403-408, Bank for International Settlements.
    28. Kai Yuan Kuan & Mark R. Cullen & Sepideh Modrek, 2015. "Racial Disparities in Savings Behavior for a Continuously Employed Cohort," NBER Working Papers 20937, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    29. Wayne A. Grove & Andrew Hussey & Michael Jetter, 2011. "The Gender Pay Gap Beyond Human Capital: Heterogeneity in Noncognitive Skills and in Labor Market Tastes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(4), pages 827-874.
    30. Benjamin R. Handel, 2013. "Adverse Selection and Inertia in Health Insurance Markets: When Nudging Hurts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(7), pages 2643-2682, December.
    31. David Neumark, 1988. "Employers' Discriminatory Behavior and the Estimation of Wage Discrimination," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(3), pages 279-295.
    32. J. A. Bikker & M. van Leuvensteijn, 2008. "Competition and efficiency in the Dutch life insurance industry," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(16), pages 2063-2084.
    33. Amy Finkelstein & Kathleen McGarry, 2006. "Multiple Dimensions of Private Information: Evidence from the Long-Term Care Insurance Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 938-958, September.
    34. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
    35. He, Daifeng, 2011. "Is there dynamic adverse selection in the life insurance market?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 113-115, July.
    36. Menchik, Paul L & Jianakoplos, Nancy Ammon, 1997. "Black-White Wealth Inequality: Is Inheritance the Reason?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(2), pages 428-442, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Timothy F. Harris & Aaron Yelowitz, 2017. "Nudging Life Insurance Holdings In The Workplace," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(2), pages 951-981, April.
    2. Harris, Timothy & Yelowitz, Aaron, 2016. "Life Insurance Holdings and Well-Being of Surviving Spouses," MPRA Paper 70334, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Life Insurance; Racial disparities; Employer Sponsored Life Insurance; Whole Life Insurance;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:64005. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.