Does Respondent’s Knowledge on Population Life Expectancy Influence the Accuracy of Subjective Survival Probabilities?

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Life expectancy plays a role in many decisions individuals take. Previous studies have shown that, on average, individuals underestimate their remaining life expectancy and this could yield suboptimal outcomes. Using a Dutch Household Survey supplemented with administrative data on mortality in this project we find that individuals predict significantly more accurate their remaining life expectancy when they have better knowledge on population remaining life expectancy. This suggests that informing individuals about population remaining life expectancies may help them making better long term decisions. This project is conducted in cooperation with Adriaan Kalwij, Ph.D. (Utrecht University, The Netherlands). The results were presented at a number of conferences and published as Netspar Discussion paper No. DP 02/2017-004.

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