NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Joseph S. Briggs

Federal Reserve Board of Governors
20th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20551

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

November 2017Older Americans Would Work Longer If Jobs Were Flexible
with John Ameriks, Andrew Caplin, Minjoon Lee, Matthew D. Shapiro, Christopher Tonetti: w24008
Older Americans, even those who are long retired, have strong willingness to work, especially in jobs with flexible schedules. For many, labor force participation near or after normal retirement age is limited more by a lack of acceptable job opportunities or low expectations about finding them than by unwillingness to work longer. This paper establishes these findings using an approach to identification based on strategic survey questions (SSQs), purpose-designed to complement behavioral data. These findings suggest that demand-side factors are important in explaining late-in-life labor market behavior and need to be considered in designing policies aimed at promoting working longer.
October 2016The Long-Term-Care Insurance Puzzle: Modeling and Measurement
with John Ameriks, Andrew Caplin, Matthew D. Shapiro, Christopher Tonetti: w22726
Individuals face significant late-in-life risks, prominently including the need for long-term care (LTC). Yet, they hold little long-term care insurance (LTCI). In this paper we use a structural model and a purpose-designed dataset to understand the determinants of insurance demand. We distinguish between a fundamental lack of desire to insure, crowd out from existing insurance, and unmet demand due to poor products available in the market. The model features individual-specific non-homothetic health-state-dependent preferences over normal consumption, consumption when in need of long-term care, and bequests, which are estimated using strategic survey questions. To account for differences between the modeled and measured insurance products, we study not only individuals' holdings of LTCI, ...
October 2015Windfall Gains and Stock Market Participation
with David Cesarini, Erik Lindqvist, Robert Östling: w21673
We estimate the causal effect of wealth on stock market participation using administrative data on Swedish lottery players. A $150,000 windfall gain increases stock ownership probability among pre-lottery non-participants by 12 percentage points, while pre-lottery stock holders are unaffected. The effect is immediate, seemingly permanent and heterogeneous in intuitive ways. Standard lifecycle models predict wealth effects far too large to match our causal estimates under common calibrations. Additional analyses suggest a limited role for explanations such as procrastination or real-estate investment. Overall, results suggest that “nonstandard” beliefs or preferences contribute to the nonparticipation of households across many demographic groups.
February 2015Long-Term-Care Utility and Late-in-Life Saving
with John Ameriks, Andrew Caplin, Matthew D. Shapiro, Christopher Tonetti: w20973
Older wealthholders spend down assets much more slowly than predicted by classic life-cycle models. This paper introduces health-dependent utility into a model in which preferences for bequests, expenditures when in need of long-term care (LTC), and ordinary consumption combine with health and longevity uncertainty to explain saving behavior. To sharply identify motives, it develops strategic survey questions (SSQs) that elicit stated preferences. The model is estimated using these SSQs and wealth data from the Vanguard Research Initiative. A robust finding is that the desire to self-insure against long-term-care risk explains a substantial fraction of the wealthholding of older Americans.
 
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