Eliciting Survival Expectations of the Elderly in Low-Income Countries
Evidence From India
Published in: Demography (2017) 54: 673. doi:10.1007/s13524-017-0560-8
Posted on RAND.org on April 11, 2017
We examine several methodological considerations when eliciting probabilistic expectations in a developing country context using the Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI). We conclude that although, on average, individuals are able to understand the concept of probability, responses are sensitive to framing effects and to own versus hypothetical-person effects. We find that overall, people are pessimistic about their survival probabilities compared with state-specific life tables and that socioeconomic status does influence beliefs about own survival expectations as found in previous literature in other countries. Higher levels of education and income have a positive association with survival expectations, and these associations persist even when conditioning on self-reported health. The results remain robust to several alternative specifications. We then compare the survival measures with objective measures of health. We find that activities of daily life, height, and low hemoglobin levels covary with subjective expectations in expected directions.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. All users of the publication are permitted to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and transform and build upon the material, including for any purpose (including commercial) without further permission or fees being required.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.