Longer Life, Higher Welfare?
AbstractWhereas life expectancy continues to increase in most industrialized countries many developing and transition countries are today confronted with decreases in life expectancy. Usual measures employed to compare welfare over time and space fail to deal with such demographic change and may lead to the so-called 'repugnant' conclusion that lower life expectancy involves higher welfare per capita. We illustrate this type of transmission channel using various welfare criteria and reference populations. We also consider feed-back effects from the demography on the economy using a neo-classical growth model. We show that the 'repugnant' conclusion can be avoided if we choose a lifetime welfare measure instead of a period (or snapshot) welfare measure. All concepts are illustrated empirically using a small sample of developed and developing countries.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 556.
Length: 24 p.
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Life expectancy; Repugnant conclusion; Welfare comparisons;
Other versions of this item:
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
- J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-02-27 (All new papers)
- NEP-HEA-2006-03-12 (Health Economics)
- NEP-LTV-2006-03-06 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
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