The relationship between individual expectations and behaviors: Mortality expectations and smoking decisions
Using data from the Health and Retirement Study, we assess the accuracy of subjective beliefs about mortality and objectively estimated probabilities for individuals in the same sample. Overall, subjective beliefs and objective probabilities are very close. However, there are differences conditional on behaviors, with current smokers being relatively optimistic and never smokers relatively pessimistic in their assessments. In the aggregate, individuals accurately predict longevity, but at the individual level, subjective beliefs provide information in addition to the estimated objective probabilities in predicting actual events, which may arise from the effect of past or anticipated decisions on these beliefs. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
Khwaja, A; Sloan, F; Chung, S
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