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

A Parsimonious Model of Subjective Life Expectancy

Listed author(s):
  • Ludwig, Alexander

    ()

    (Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA) and Sonderforschungsbereich 504)

  • Zimper, Alexander

    ()

    (Sonderforschungsbereich 504)

This paper develops a theoretical model for the formation of subjective beliefs on individual survival expectations. Data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) indicate that, on average, young respondents underestimate their true survival probability whereas old respondents overestimate their survival probability. Such subjective beliefs violate the rational expectations paradigm and are also not in line with the predictions of the rational Bayesian learning paradigm. We therefore introduce a model of Bayesian learning which combines rational learning with the possibility that the interpretation of new information is prone to psychological attitudes. We estimate the parameters of our theoretical model by pooling the HRS data. Despite a parsimonious parametrization we find that our model results in a remarkable fit to the average subjective beliefs expressed in the data.

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://www.sfb504.uni-mannheim.de/publications/dp07-65.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim in its series Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications with number 07-65.

as
in new window

Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 07 Nov 2007
Handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:07-65
Note: We thank Axel Börsch-Supan, Andrew Caplin, Mike Hurd, Jürgen Maurer, Susan Rohwedder,
Contact details of provider: Postal:
D-68131 Mannheim

Phone: (49) (0) 621-292-2547
Fax: (49) (0) 621-292-5594
Web page: http://www.sfb504.uni-mannheim.de/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

Web page: http://www.sfb504.uni-mannheim.de

Order Information: Email:


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. repec:uwp:jhriss:v:30:y:1995:p:s268-s292 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Michael Moore & Younghwan Song, 2007. "The Effect of Subjective Survival Probabilities on Retirement and Wealth in the United States," Chapters, in: Population Aging, Intergenerational Transfers and the Macroeconomy, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  3. Alexander Zimper & Alexander Ludwig, 2009. "On attitude polarization under Bayesian learning with non-additive beliefs," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 181-212, October.
  4. David Schmeidler, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7662, David K. Levine.
  5. Li Gan & Michael Hurd & Daniel McFadden, 2003. "Individual Subjective Survival Curves," NBER Working Papers 9480, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Viscusi, W Kip & O'Connor, Charles J, 1984. "Adaptive Responses to Chemical Labeling: Are Workers Bayesian Decision Makers?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 942-956, December.
  7. Wakker,Peter P., 2010. "Prospect Theory," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521748681, December.
  8. Carter, Lawrence R. & Lee, Ronald D., 1992. "Modeling and forecasting US sex differentials in mortality," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 393-411, November.
  9. Smith, V. Kerry & Taylor, Donald H., Jr. & Sloan, Frank A., 2000. "Longevity Expectations and Death: Can People Predict Their Own Demise?," Working Papers 00-15, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  10. Tonks, Ian, 1983. "Bayesian Learning and the Optimal Investment Decision of the Firm," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(369a), pages 87-98, Supplemen.
  11. Daniel Ellsberg, 1961. "Risk, Ambiguity, and the Savage Axioms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 643-669.
  12. repec:gdm:wpaper:1706 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Chateauneuf, Alain & Eichberger, Jurgen & Grant, Simon, 2007. "Choice under uncertainty with the best and worst in mind: Neo-additive capacities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 538-567, November.
  14. Eichberger, Jürgen & Grant, Simon & Kelsey, David, 2010. "Comparing three ways to update Choquet beliefs," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 91-94, May.
  15. McFadden, Daniel L. & Bemmaor, Albert C. & Caro, Francis G. & Dominitz, Jeff & Jun, Byung-hill & Lewbel, Arthur & Matzkin, Rosa L. & Molinari, Francesca & Schwarz, Norbert & Willis, Robert J. & Winter, 2005. "Statistical analysis of choice experiments and surveys," Munich Reprints in Economics 19251, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  16. Viscusi, W Kip, 1990. "Do Smokers Underestimate Risks?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1253-1269, December.
  17. George Wu & Richard Gonzalez, 1996. "Curvature of the Probability Weighting Function," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(12), pages 1676-1690, December.
  18. Zimper, Alexander, 2009. "Half empty, half full and why we can agree to disagree forever," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 283-299, August.
  19. Cesaltina Pacheco Pires, 2002. "A Rule For Updating Ambiguous Beliefs," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 53(2), pages 137-152, September.
  20. Smith, V. Kerry & Taylor, Donald H., Jr. & Sloan, Frank A. & Johnson, F. Reed & Desvousges, William H., 2000. "Do Smokers Respond to Health Shocks?," Working Papers 00-08, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  21. Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Measuring Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1329-1376, 09.
  22. Viscusi, W Kip, 1991. "Age Variations in Risk Perceptions and Smoking Decisions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(4), pages 577-588, November.
  23. Itzhak Gilboa, 1987. "Expected Utility with Purely Subjective Non-Additive Probabilities," Post-Print hal-00756291, HAL.
  24. Michael D. Hurd & Kathleen McGarry, 2002. "The Predictive Validity of Subjective Probabilities of Survival," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 966-985, October.
  25. Siniscalchi, Marciano, 2011. "Dynamic choice under ambiguity," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 6(3), September.
  26. Jurgen Eichberger & Simon Grant & David Kelsey, 2006. "Updating Choquet Beliefs," Discussion Papers 0607, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  27. Itzhak Gilboa & David Schmeidler, 1991. "Updating Ambiguous Beliefs," Discussion Papers 924, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  28. Bleichrodt, Han & Eeckhoudt, Louis, 2006. "Survival risks, intertemporal consumption, and insurance: The case of distorted probabilities," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 335-346, April.
  29. Eichberger, J. & Kelsey, D., 1996. "E-Capacities and the Ellsberg Paradox," Discussion Papers 96-13, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  30. 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.
  31. Larry G. Epstein, 1999. "A Definition of Uncertainty Aversion," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(3), pages 579-608.
  32. Viscusi, W. Kip, 1985. "A Bayesian perspective on biases in risk perception," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 59-62.
  33. Marciano Siniscalchi, 2001. "Bayesian Updating for General Maxmin Expected Utility Preferences," Discussion Papers 1366, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  34. Sarin, Rakesh & Wakker, Peter P, 1998. "Revealed Likelihood and Knightian Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 223-250, July-Aug..
  35. Ghirardato, Paolo & Marinacci, Massimo, 2002. "Ambiguity Made Precise: A Comparative Foundation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 251-289, February.
  36. Wakker, Peter P, 2001. "Testing and Characterizing Properties of Nonadditive Measures through Violations of the Sure-Thing Principle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 1039-1059, July.
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:xrs:sfbmaa:07-65. 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: (Carsten Schmidt)

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.