Health shocks, risk preferences and annuity choices

Författare: Johannes Hagen, Och Michal Hodor, Och Abigail Hurwitz, Och

Sammanfattning av Working paper 2024:4

This study examines the simultaneous impact of risk type and risk preferences on annuity demand. Through a quasi-experimental design that leverages individuals’ reactions to their first malignant cancer diagnosis around retirement, we show that a 30% reduction in the present value of life annuities from decreased life expectancy results in just a 5% decline in annuitization rates. We further demonstrate that risk-averse individuals drive this effect, whereas the risk-tolerant remain unchanged in their demand. Our findings suggest that risk-averse individuals view life annuities as a means to ensure against longevity risk.