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Optimal linear taxation under endogenous longevity

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  • LEROUX, Marie-Louise
  • PESTIEAU, Pierre
  • PONTHIERE, Grégory

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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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00148-010-0304-1
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers RP with number -2268.

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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvrp:-2268

Note: In : Journal of Population Economics, 24(1), 213-237, 2011
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References

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  1. Anderson, Torben M. & Bhattacharya, Joydeep, 2008. "On Myopia As Rationale for Social Security," Staff General Research Papers 12985, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  2. Helmuth Cremer & Philippe De Donder & Darío Maldonado & Pierre Pestieau, 2012. "Taxing Sin Goods and Subsidizing Health Care," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(1), pages 101-123, 03.
  3. 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.
  4. Broome, John, 2006. "Weighing Lives," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199297702, September.
  5. Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere & Motohiro Sato, 2008. "Longevity, Health Spending, and Pay-as-you-Go Pensions," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 64(1), pages 1-18, March.
  6. CREMER, Helmuth & LOZACHMEUR, Jean-Marie & PESTIAU, Pierre, 2007. "Collective annuities and redistribution," CORE Discussion Papers 2007096, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. 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).
  8. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. PESTIEAU, Pierre & PONTHIERE, Grégory, . "The public economics of increasing longevity," CORE Discussion Papers RP -2464, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Marie-Louise Leroux & Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthière, 2008. "Should we subsidize longevity?," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586236, HAL.
  3. Pierre-André Jouvet & Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthière, 2007. "Longevity and environmental quality in an OLG model," EconomiX Working Papers 2007-19, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.
  4. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00586236 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Carlotta Balestra & Davide Dottori, 2012. "Aging society, health and the environment," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 1045-1076, July.
  6. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00676492 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00564934 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Grégory Ponthière & Marie-Louise Leroux, 2009. "Utilitarianism and unequal longevities: A remedy?," PSE Working Papers halshs-00566858, HAL.
  9. Torben M. Andersen & Marias H. Gestsson, 2010. "Longevity, Growth and Intergenerational Equity - The Deterministic Case," Economics wp52, Department of Economics, Central bank of Iceland.
  10. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00423933 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthiere, 2012. "On the Policy Implications of Changing Longevity," CESifo Working Paper Series 3926, CESifo Group Munich.

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