IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The impact of the correlation between health expenditure and survival probability on the demand for insurance

Listed author(s):
  • Kai Zhao

    (University of Connecticut)

Registered author(s):

This paper studies the effects of health shocks on the demand for health insurance and annuities, along with precautionary saving in a dynamic life-cycle model. I argue that when the health shock can simultaneously increase health expenses and reduce longevity, rational agents would neither fully insure their uncertain health expenses nor fully annuitize their wealth because the correlation between health expenses and longevity provides a self insurance channel for both uncertainties. That is, when the agent is hit by a health shock (which simultaneously increases health expenses and reduces longevity), she can use the resources originally saved for consumption in the reduced period of life to pay for the increased health expenses. Since the two uncertainties partially offset each other, the precautionary saving generated in the model should be smaller than in a standard model without the correlation between health expenses and longevity. In a quantitative life-cycle model calibrated using the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey dataset, I find that the health expenses are highly correlated with the survival probabilities, and this correlation significantly reduces the demand for actuarially-fair health insurance, while its impact on the demand for annuities and precautionary saving is relatively small.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://web2.uconn.edu/economics/working/2014-37.pdf
File Function: Full text
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2014-37.

as
in new window

Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2014
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2014-37
Contact details of provider: Postal:
University of Connecticut 365 Fairfield Way, Unit 1063 Storrs, CT 06269-1063

Phone: (860) 486-4889
Fax: (860) 486-4463
Web page: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Jonathan Gruber, 2008. "Covering the Uninsured in the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(3), pages 571-606, September.
  2. Davies, James B, 1981. "Uncertain Lifetime, Consumption, and Dissaving in Retirement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(3), pages 561-577, June.
  3. Yogo, Motohiro, 2016. "Portfolio choice in retirement: Health risk and the demand for annuities, housing, and risky assets," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 17-34.
  4. Tauchen, George, 1986. "Finite state markov-chain approximations to univariate and vector autoregressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 177-181.
  5. Leung, Siu Fai, 1994. "Uncertain Lifetime, the Theory of the Consumer, and the Life Cycle Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 1233-1239, September.
  6. Hubbard, R Glenn & Skinner, Jonathan & Zeldes, Stephen P, 1995. "Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 360-399, April.
  7. Tatyana Koreshkova & Karen A. Kopecky, 2009. "The Impact of Medical and Nursing Home Expenses and Social Insurance Policies on Savings and Inequality," 2009 Meeting Papers 46, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Spivak, Avia, 1981. "The Family as an Incomplete Annuities Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(2), pages 372-391, April.
  9. Brown, Jeffrey R. & Finkelstein, Amy, 2007. "Why is the market for long-term care insurance so small?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(10), pages 1967-1991, November.
  10. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John B. Jones, 2010. "Why Do the Elderly Save? The Role of Medical Expenses," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(1), pages 39-75, 02.
  11. Luisa Fuster & Ayşe İmrohoroğlu & Selahattin İmrohoroğlu, 2007. "Elimination of Social Security in a Dynastic Framework," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 113-145.
  12. Pauly, Mark V, 1990. "The Rational Nonpurchase of Long-term-Care Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(1), pages 153-168, February.
  13. Zhao, Kai, 2017. "Social insurance, private health insurance and individual welfare," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 102-117.
  14. Michael D. Hurd & Daniel McFadden & Angela Merrill, 2001. "Predictors of Mortality among the Elderly," NBER Chapters,in: Themes in the Economics of Aging, pages 171-198 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Pashchenko, Svetlana, 2013. "Accounting for non-annuitization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 53-67.
  16. David M. Cutler & Jonathan Gruber, 1996. "Does Public Insurance Crowd out Private Insurance?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 391-430.
  17. Lee Lockwood, 2012. "Bequest Motives and the Annuity Puzzle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(2), pages 226-243, April.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2014-37. 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: (Mark McConnel)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.