How long do you expect to live?: Subjective life expectancy in Chile

Whitney Schott, University of Pennsylvania

A population’s expectations regarding life expectancy may affect the average propensity to plan for retirement or practice positive health behaviors. A panel survey in Chile (Encuesta Proteccion Social) collects data on subjective life expectancy. Compared to life-table life expectancy values, women are overly pessimistic about their likely longevity, while men are overly optimistic. A slight gradient by education and income exists, as less educated women and men are more pessimistic about their survival. Controlling for other factors in cross-sectional OLS estimates, lower subjective life expectancy for females owes to the interaction of being female and being married/cohabitating as well as being female and having a living father. Specific diseases and general health status are also significantly associated with subjective life expectancy. In fixed effects estimates, people with good health status have higher subjective life expectancy, and those with poor health or high blood pressure have lower subjective life expectancy.

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Presented in Poster Session 5