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Old‐Age Longevity and Mortality‐Contingent Claims

Tomas j. Philipson and Gary S. Becker
Journal of Political Economy
Vol. 106, No. 3 (June 1998), pp. 551-573
DOI: 10.1086/250021
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/250021
Page Count: 23
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Old‐Age Longevity and Mortality‐Contingent Claims
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Abstract

This paper analyzes the savings and longevity impacts of mortality‐contingent claims, defined here as income measures, such as annuities and life insurance, under which earned income is contingent on the length of one's life. The postwar increase in mandatory annuity and life insurance programs, as well as the rapid increase in the life expectancy of older ages, motivates a better understanding of the incentive effects that mortality‐contingent claims have on longevity‐related behavior. We claim that these incentives in often alter the standard conclusions obtained about old‐age support when mortality is treated exogenously. In particular, we argue that annuities involve moral hazard effects that increase longevity and, among other things, introduce a positive interaction between public programs for health care and income support for the elderly‐programs that have grown enormously in developed countries

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