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Does longevity improvement always raise the length of schooling through the longer-horizon mechanism?

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  • Sau-Him Lau

    (University of Hong Kong)

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    Abstract

    Hazan (2009) performs empirical analysis based on the conjecture that a necessary condition for higher life expectancy to cause longer schooling years is that it also increases lifetime labor supply, and reaches controversial conclusions. We aim to examine the theoretical validity of Hazan's (2009) conjecture, and more generally, to understand the relation between these two conditions in a standard life-cycle model. We find that the relation between the effects on optimal schooling years and expected lifetime labor supply differs systematically with respect to mortality reductions at different stages of the life cycle. Based on these systematic differences, we find that longer lifetime labor supply is not sufficient for increased schooling years for mortality reductions during the schooling years, and not necessary for increased schooling years for some mortality reductions during the working years. We provide explanations regarding why Ben-Porath’s (1967) longer-horizon mechanism in the analysis of the timing of human capital investment is not always applicable to the question regarding the impact of mortality decline on human capital investment.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2013 Meeting Papers with number 292.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:red:sed013:292

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    1. Bloom, David E. & Canning, David & Mansfield, Richard K. & Moore, Michael, 2007. "Demographic change, social security systems, and savings," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 92-114, January.
    2. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem & Ryder, Harl E. & Weil, David N., 2000. "Mortality decline, human capital investment, and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 1-23, June.
    3. Ben J. Heijdra & Ward E. Romp, 2008. "A life-cycle overlapping-generations model of the small open economy," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 88-121, January.
    4. BOUCEKKINE, Raouf & DE LA CROIX, David & LICANDRO, Omar, . "Early mortality declines at the dawn of modern growth," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1681, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    5. dʼAlbis, Hippolyte & Lau, Sau-Him Paul & Sánchez-Romero, Miguel, 2012. "Mortality transition and differential incentives for early retirement," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(1), pages 261-283.
    6. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Günther Fink, 2011. "Implications of Population Aging for Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 16705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Moshe Hazan, 2009. "Longevity and Lifetime Labor Supply: Evidence and Implications," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(6), pages 1829-1863, November.
    9. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
    10. 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.
    11. John Wilmoth & Shiro Horiuchi, 1999. "Rectangularization revisited: Variability of age at death within human populations," Demography, Springer, vol. 36(4), pages 475-495, November.
    12. Boucekkine, Raouf & de la Croix, David & Licandro, Omar, 2000. "Vintage Human Capital, Demographic Trends and Endogenous Growth," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2000007, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    13. Peter J. Klenow & Mark Bils, 2000. "Does Schooling Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1160-1183, December.
    14. Heijdra, Ben J. & Romp, Ward E., 2009. "Human capital formation and macroeconomic performance in an ageing small open economy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 725-744, March.
    15. Karen N. Eggleston & Victor R. Fuchs, 2012. "The New Demographic Transition: Most Gains in Life Expectancy Now Realized Late in Life," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 137-56, Summer.
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