NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Life Insurance of the Elderly: Adequacy and Determinants

Alan J. Auerbach, Laurence J. Kotlikoff

NBER Working Paper No. 1737 (Also Reprint No. r0870)
Issued in October 1985
NBER Program(s):   ME   PE

Despite a general reduction in poverty among the aged, roughly one third of elderly nonmarried women are officially poor. Many of these women are widows.The fact that poverty rates are significantly larger for widows than for married women suggests that many households may fail to buy sufficient life insurance.This paper considers the adequacy and determinants of life insurance among the elderly. Its principal conclusions are:(1) Combined private and public life insurance is inadequate for a significant minority of elderly households;(2) Of those elderly households in which the husband's future income representsa significant fraction of total household resources, roughly half are inadequately insured;(3) Households do not significantly offset Social Security's provision of survivor insurance by reducing their private purchase of life insurance; and(4) The actual determinants of the purchase of life insurance appear to differ greatly from those predicted by economic theory.

download in pdf format
   (457 K)

download in djvu format
   (300 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (457 K) or DjVu (300 K) (Download viewer) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w1737

Published:

  • Auerbach, Alan and Laurence Kotlikoff. "Life Insurance of the Elderly: Adequacy and Determinants,"Work, Health and Income Among the Elderly, G. Burtlss, ed. Washington: Brookings, 1987. pp. 29-67.
  • Auerbach, Alan J. and Laurence J. Kotlikoff. "The Adequacy Of Life Insurance Purchases," Journal of Financial Intermediation, 1991, v1(3), 215-241.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Bernheim w2942 How Strong are Bequest Motives? Evidence Based on Estimates of the Demand for Life Insurance and Annuities
Auerbach and Kotlikoff w3063 How Rational Is the Purchase of Life Insurance?
Bernheim, Forni, Gokhale, and Kotlikoff w7372 The Adequacy of Life Insurance: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Survey
Pauly, Withers, Subramanian-Viswana, Lemaire, and Hershey w9925 Price Elasticity of Demand for Term Life Insurance and Adverse Selection
McCarthy and Mitchell w9975 International Adverse Selection in Life Insurance and Annuities
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us