NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Thomas Davidoff

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Working Papers

May 2003Annuities and Individual Welfare
with Jeffrey R. Brown, Peter A. Diamond: w9714
This paper advances the theory of annuity demand. First, we derive sufficient conditions under which complete annuitization is optimal, showing that this well-known result holds true in a more general setting than in Yaari (1965). Specifically, when markets are complete, sufficient conditions need not impose exponential discounting, intertemporal separability or the expected utility axioms; nor need annuities be actuarially fair, nor longevity risk be the only source of consumption uncertainty. All that is required is that consumers have no bequest motive and that annuities pay a rate of return for survivors greater than those of otherwise matching conventional assets, net of administrative costs. Second, we show that full annuitization may not be optimal when markets are incomplete. Some ...

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