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

by Adeline Delavande, Jinkook Lee, Seetha Menon

Read More

Access further information on this document at doi.org

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

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.

Research conducted by

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.

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.