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Life Expectancy, Schooling, and Lifetime Labor Supply: Theory and Evidence Revisited

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  • Cervellati, Matteo
  • Sunde, Uwe

Abstract

This paper presents a theoretical and empirical analysis of the role of life expectancy for optimal schooling and lifetime labor supply. The results of a simple prototype Ben-Porath model with age-specific survival rates show that an increase in lifetime labor supply is not a necessary, nor a sufficient, condition for greater life expectancy to increase optimal schooling. The observed increase in survival rates during working ages that follows from the ``rectangularization'' of the survival function is crucial for schooling and labor supply. The empirical results suggest that the relative benefits of schooling have been increasing across cohorts of US man born 1840-1930. A simple quantitative analysis shows that a realistic shift in the survival function can lead to an increase in schooling and a reduction in lifetime labor hours.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9399.

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Date of creation: Mar 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9399

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Keywords: Life Expectancy; Lifetime Labor Supply; Longevity; Rectangularization of the Survival Function; Schooling;

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  1. d'Albis, Hippolyte & Lau, Paul & Sanchez-Romero, Miguel, 2010. "Mortality transition and differential incentives for early retirement," LERNA Working Papers 10.21.327, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
  2. Alan S. Blinder & Yoram Weiss, 1975. "Human Capital and Labor Supply: A Synthesis," NBER Working Papers 0067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Holger Strulik & Sebastian Vollmer, 2013. "Long-run trends of human aging and longevity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 1303-1323, October.
  4. Day Manoli & Andrea Weber & Adam Guren & Raj Chetty, 2011. "Does Indivisible Labor Explain the Difference between Micro and Macro Elasticities? A Meta-Analysis of Extensive Margin Elasticities," 2011 Meeting Papers 73, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. repec:hal:cesptp:hal-00659868 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Casper Hansen & Lars Lønstrup, 2012. "Can higher life expectancy induce more schooling and earlier retirement?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 1249-1264, October.
  7. Sheshinski, Eytan, 2009. "Uncertain Longevity and Investment in Education," MPRA Paper 53144, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Raouf Boucekkine & David de la Croix & Omar Licandro, . "vintage human capital, demographic trends and endogenous growth," Working Papers 2000-02, FEDEA.
  9. Rogerson, Richard & Wallenius, Johanna, 2009. "Micro and macro elasticities in a life cycle model with taxes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(6), pages 2277-2292, November.
  10. Ludwig, Alexander & Schelkle, Thomas & Vogel, Edgar, 2010. "Demographic Change, Human Capital and Welfare," MEA discussion paper series 10196, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  11. Rosenbloom, Joshua L., 1996. "Was There a National Labor Market at the End of the Nineteenth Century? New Evidence on Earnings in Manufacturing," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(03), pages 626-656, September.
  12. Peter Rangazas, 2002. "The Quantity and Quality of Schooling and U.S. Labor Productivity Growth (1870-2000)," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(4), pages 932-964, October.
  13. Alexander Ludwig & Thomas Schelkle & Edgar Vogel, 2011. "Online Appendix to "Demographic Change, Human Capital and Welfare"," Technical Appendices 08-168, Review of Economic Dynamics.
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Cited by:
  1. Strulik, Holger & Werner, Katharina, 2014. "Elite education, mass education, and the transition to modern growth," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 205, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.

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