NBER

John W. Payne

Duke University

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Duke University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

September 2018The Pivotal Role of Fairness: Which Consumers Like Annuities?
with Suzanne B. Shu, Robert Zeithammer: w25067
Life annuities can be a valuable component of the decumulation stage of wealth during retirement. While economists argue that most retirees should annuitize, actual demand in the marketplace is low. We analyze data from two studies to determine how measurable individual differences among consumers affect their interest in annuities. We find that a relatively high percentage of respondents dislike all annuities. Demographic factors are not predictive of which individuals dislike annuities, and individual factors predicted by economic models to be important (such as beneficiaries) have small or even opposite effects. The strongest individual differences we measured that predicts liking of annuities is the respondent’s perception of product fairness. We discuss implications of our findings fo...

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