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Optimal linear taxation under endogenous longevity

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Author Info

  • Marie-Louise Leroux
  • Pierre Pestieau
  • Gregory Ponthiere

    ()

Abstract

This paper studies the optimal linear tax-transfer policy in an economy where agents differ in productivity and in genetic background, and where longevity depends on health spending and genes. It is shown that, if agents internalize imperfectly the impact of genes and health spending on longevity, the utilitarian social optimum can be decentralized with type-specific redistributive lump sum transfers and Pigouvian taxes correcting for agents's myopia (leading to undersaving and underinvestment in health), and for their incapacity to perceive the effect of health spending on the resource constraint of the economy (causing overinvestment in health). The second-best problem is also examined under linear taxation instruments. Our main result is that it may be optimal to tax health spending, in particular under a complementarity of genes and health spending in the production of longevity.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 24 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 213-237

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:24:y:2011:i:1:p:213-237

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Related research

Keywords: Longevity; Myopia; Taxation; H21; I12; I18;

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References

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  1. Broome, John, 2004. "Weighing Lives," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199243761.
  2. PESTIEAU, Pierre & PONTHIERE, Grégory & SATO, Motohiro, . "Longevity, health spending, and pay-as-you-go pensions," CORE Discussion Papers RP -2029, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Anderson, Torben M. & Bhattacharya, Joydeep, 2008. "On Myopia As Rationale for Social Security," Staff General Research Papers 12985, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Jie Zhang & Junsen Zhang & Michael Leung, 2006. "Health investment, saving, and public policy," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(1), pages 68-93, February.
  5. Helmuth Cremer & Philippe De Donder & Darío Maldonado & Pierre Pestieau, 2008. "Taxing Sin Goods and Subsidizing Health Care," CESifo Working Paper Series 2297, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Helmuth Cremer & Jean-Marie Lozachmeur & Pierre Pestieau, 2010. "Collective Annuities and Redistribution," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(1), pages 23-41, 02.
  7. Tomas J. Philipson & Gary S. Becker, 1998. "Old-Age Longevity and Mortality-Contingent Claims," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 551-573, June.
  8. EECKHOUDT, Louis & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 2007. "Fear of ruin and longevity enhancing investment," CORE Discussion Papers 2007032, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. JOUVET, Pierre-André & PESTIEAU, Pierre & PONTHIERE, Gregory, 2007. "Longevity and environmental quality in an OLG model," CORE Discussion Papers 2007069, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Marie-Louise Leroux & Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthiere, 2009. "Should we Subsidize Longevity?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2614, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthière, 2012. "The public economics of increasing longevity," PSE Working Papers halshs-00676492, HAL.
  4. Balestra, Carlotta & DOTTORI, Davide, 2009. "Aging society, health and the environment," CORE Discussion Papers 2009037, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthière, 2012. "The public economics of increasing longevity," Working Papers halshs-00676492, HAL.
  6. Grégory Ponthière & Marie-Louise Leroux, 2009. "Utilitarianism and unequal longevities: A remedy?," PSE Working Papers halshs-00566858, HAL.
  7. Marie-Louise Leroux & Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthière, 2008. "Should we subsidize longevity?," Working Papers halshs-00586236, HAL.
  8. Julio Davila & Marie-Louise Leroux, 2009. "On the fiscal treatment of life expectancy related choices," Post-Print halshs-00423933, HAL.
  9. Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthiere, 2012. "On the Policy Implications of Changing Longevity," CESifo Working Paper Series 3926, CESifo Group Munich.

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