Individual Subjective Survival Curves

TitleIndividual Subjective Survival Curves
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsGan, L, Hurd, MD, McFadden, D
EditorWise, DA
Book TitleAnalyses in the Economics of Aging
PublisherUniversity of Chicago Press
Call Numberwp_2003/Gan-Hurd-McFadden_NBER.pdf

Testing life-cycle models and other economic models of saving and consumption at micro level requires knowledge of individuals' subjective believes of their mortality risk. Previous studies have shown that individual responses on subjective survival probabilities are generally consistent with life tables. However, survey responses suffer serious problems caused by focal responses of zero and one. This paper suggests using a Bayesian update model that accounts for the problems encountered in focal responses. We also propose models that help us to identify how much each individual deviates from life table in her subjective belief. The resulting individual subjective survival curves have considerable variations and are readily applicable in testing economic models that require individual subjective life expectancies.


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Endnote Keywords

Subjective Probabilities of Survival

Endnote ID


Endnote Author Address

NBER Working Paper 6478. Copies available from: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050Mass achusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138. Website:

Citation Key5181