NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Pamela Giustinelli

Department of Economics
Bocconi University
Milan, Italy

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Bocconi University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2019Precise or Imprecise Probabilities? Evidence from Survey Response on Late-onset Dementia
with Charles F. Manski, Francesca Molinari: w26125
We elicit numerical expectations for late-onset dementia in the Health and Retirement Study. Our elicitation distinguishes between precise and imprecise probabilities, while accounting for rounding of reports. Respondents quantify imprecision using probability intervals. Nearly half of respondents hold imprecise dementia probabilities, while almost a third of precise-probability respondents round their reports. We provide the first empirical evidence on dementia-risk perceptions among dementia-free older Americans and novel evidence about imprecise probabilities in a nationally-representative sample. We show, in a specific framework, that failing to account for imprecise or rounded probabilities can yield incorrect predictions of long-term care insurance purchase decisions.
SeaTE: Subjective ex ante Treatment Effect of Health on Retirement
with Matthew D. Shapiro: w26087
The Subjective ex ante Treatment Effect is the difference between the probabilities of an outcome conditional on a treatment. The SeaTE yields ex ante causal effects at the individual level. The paper gives an interpretation in two workhorse econometric frameworks: potential outcomes and dynamic programming. It finds large effect heterogeneity of health on work in two surveys of older workers, the VRI and the HRS. It shows how reduced-form estimates of health on work are biased when there is unobserved heterogeneity in taste for work. Using the VRI’s panel structure, it validates the elicited conditional probabilities of work given health.
April 2018Tail and Center Rounding of Probabilistic Expectations in the Health and Retirement Study
with Charles F. Manski, Francesca Molinari: w24559
A growing number of surveys elicit respondents’ expectations for future events on a 0-100 scale of percent chance. These data reveal substantial heaping at multiples of 10 and 5 percent, suggesting that respondents round their reports. This paper studies the nature of rounding by analyzing response patterns across expectations questions and waves of the Health and Retirement Study. We discover a tendency by about half of the respondents to provide more refined responses in the tails of the scale than the center. Only about five percent provide more refined responses in the center than the tails. We find that rounding varies across question domains, which range from personal health to personal finances to macroeconomic events. We develop a two-stage framework to characterize person-specific...
 
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