Differential Mortality, Uncertain Medical Expenses, and the Saving of Elderly Singles
45 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2005
Date Written: December 2005
People have heterogenous life expectancies: women live longer than men, rich people live longer than poor people, and healthy people live longer than sick people. People are also subject to heterogenous out of pocket medical expense risk. We show that all of these dimensions of heterogeneity are large for the elderly. Can these factors explain their lack of asset decumulation even at very advanced ages and the high saving rate of the income-rich elderly? We answer this question in two steps. We first estimate the uncertainty about mortality and out of pocket medical expenditures as functions of sex, health, permanent income, and age. We then formalize a rich structural model of saving behavior for retired single households, and we estimate it by using the method of simulated moments.
Keywords: Savings, Elderly, differential mortality, health risk
JEL Classification: D10, E21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation