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Luigi Pistaferri, Consumption Inequality and Family Labor Supply

Racial-Ethnic Differences in Subjective Survival Expectations for the Retirement Years

Publication Abstract

Bulanda, Jennifer Roebuck, and Zhenmei Zhang. 2009. "Racial-Ethnic Differences in Subjective Survival Expectations for the Retirement Years." Research on Aging, 31(6): 688-709.

Prior research finds a race anomaly in subjective life expectancy such that Blacks expect to live longer than Whites even though their actual life expectancy is lower, but it does not include other racial-ethnic groups. Using data from the 1998 Health and Retirement Study (n = 8,077), the authors find that the race anomaly in subjective survival expectations can be extended to Mexican Americans: Mexican Americans, regardless of their nativity, expect a lower chance of living to ages 75 and 85 than do Whites net of age and gender even though their actual life expectancy is higher. In addition, foreign-born Mexican Americans expect a lower chance of survival to older ages than native-born Mexican Americans, which is also opposite of actual mortality patterns. We also find that education and wealth interact with race-ethnicity to influence subjective survival expectations.

DOI:10.1177/0164027509343533 (Full Text)

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