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Life Expectancy and Income Convergence in the World

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  • Kenichi Ueda

Abstract

There is world-wide convergence in life expectancy, despite little convergence in GDP per capita. If one values longer life much more than material happiness, the world living standards may this have already converged substantially. This paper introduces the concept of the dynastic general equilibrium value of life to measure welfare gains from the increase in life expectancy. A calibration study finds sizable welfare gains, but these gains hardly mitigate the large inequality among countries. A conventional GDP-based measure remains a good approximation for (non) convergence in world living standards, even when adjusted for changes in life expectancy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 08/158.

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Length: 34
Date of creation: 01 Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:08/158

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Related research

Keywords: Economic growth; Income distribution; Aging; Welfare; Cost of living; life expectancy; life insurance; life expectancies; gross returns;

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

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  1. Aldy, Joseph E. & Viscusi, W. Kip, 2003. "The Value of Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," Working paper 282, Regulation2point0.
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  10. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2007. "Disease and Development: The Effect of Life Expectancy on Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(6), pages 925-985, December.
  11. Robert M. Townsend & Kenichi Ueda, 2010. "Welfare Gains From Financial Liberalization," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(3), pages 553-597, 08.
  12. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 2005. "The value of life and the rise in health spending," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
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  14. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
  15. Angus Deaton, 2005. "ERRATUM: Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 395-395, May.
  16. Jay H. Hong & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2012. "Life Insurance and Household Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3701-30, December.
  17. Angus Deaton, 2004. "Measuring poverty in a growing world (or measuring growth in a poor world)," Working Papers 178, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  18. Thomas J. Kniesner & W. Kip Viscusi, 2005. "Value of a Statistical Life: Relative Position vs. Relative Age," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 142-146, May.
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