Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Individual Uncertainty on Longevity

KU Leuven Discussion Paper Series DPS14.28

40 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2014  

Brigitte Dormont

Université Paris Dauphine

Anne-Laure Samson

Université Paris Ouest - Nanterre, La Défense - EconomiX

Marc Fleurbaey

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Stephane Luchini

National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) - Research Group in Quantitative Saving (GREQAM), EHESS

Erik Schokkaert

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL)

Clémence Thébaut

Independent

Carine Van de Voorde

Catholic University of Leuven (KULeuven)

Date Written: September 24, 2014

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to provide an assessment of individual uncertainty regarding length of life. We have collected original data through a survey performed in 2009 on a representative sample of 3,331 French people aged 18 or more. The survey design recorded several survival probabilities per individual, which makes it possible to compute (i) subjective life expectancy, defined as the first moment of the individual’s subjective distribution of personal longevity; (ii) the standard error of this distribution, which provides insight on the individual’s uncertainty regarding his or her own longevity. There is considerable between-individual variability in subjective life expectancies, in (small) part explained by age, illnesses, risky behavior, parents’ death and socioeconomic variables. The second main finding is that individual subjective uncertainty about length of life is quite large, equal on average to more than 10 years for men and women. It is logically decreasing with age, but apart from age, very few variables are correlated with it. These results have important consequences for public health and retirement policy issues.

Suggested Citation

Dormont, Brigitte and Samson, Anne-Laure and Fleurbaey, Marc and Luchini, Stephane and Schokkaert, Erik and Thébaut, Clémence and Van de Voorde, Carine, Individual Uncertainty on Longevity (September 24, 2014). KU Leuven Discussion Paper Series DPS14.28. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2509318 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2509318

Brigitte Dormont (Contact Author)

Université Paris Dauphine ( email )

Place du Marechal de Lattre de Tassigny
75016 Paris, 75775
France

Anne-Laure Samson

Université Paris Ouest - Nanterre, La Défense - EconomiX ( email )

200 Avenue de la République
Nanterre cedex, Nanterre Cedex 92000
France

Marc Fleurbaey

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

Stephane Luchini

National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) - Research Group in Quantitative Saving (GREQAM), EHESS ( email )

Centre de la Vieille Charité
2, rue de la Charité
Marseille, 13002
France

Erik Schokkaert

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) ( email )

Oude Markt 13
Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant 3000
Belgium

Clémence Thébaut

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Carine Van de Voorde

Catholic University of Leuven (KULeuven) ( email )

Naamsestraat 69
B-3000 Leuven, 3000
Belgium

Paper statistics

Downloads
40
Abstract Views
300