Individual survival curves comparing subjective and observed mortality risks.

TitleIndividual survival curves comparing subjective and observed mortality risks.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsBissonnette, L, Hurd, MD, Michaud, P-C
JournalHealth Economics
Date Published12/2017
ISSN Number1099-1050
KeywordsMortality, NDI, Survival curves

We compare individual survival curves constructed from objective (actual mortality) and elicited subjective information (probability of survival to a given target age). We develop a methodology to estimate jointly subjective and objective individual survival curves accounting for rounding on subjective reports of perceived survival. We make use of the long follow-up period in the Health and Retirement Study and the high quality of mortality data to estimate individual survival curves that feature both observed and unobserved heterogeneity. This allows us to compare objective and subjective estimates of remaining life expectancy for various groups and compare welfare effects of objective and subjective mortality risk using the life cycle model of consumption. We find that subjective and objective hazards are not the same. The median welfare loss from misperceptions of mortality risk when annuities are not available is 7% of current wealth at age 65 whereas more than 25% of respondents have losses larger than 60% of wealth. When annuities are available and exogenously given, the welfare loss is substantially lower.

User Guide Notes

Alternate JournalHealth Econ
Citation Key9075
PubMed ID28508558
PubMed Central IDPMC5784432
Grant ListP01 AG008291 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
P30 AG012815 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG040176 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
U01 AG009740 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States