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A closer look at the relationship between life expectancy and economic growth

  • Théophile T. Azomahou
  • Raouf Boucekkine
  • Bity Diene

We first provide a nonparametric inference of the relationship between life expectancy and economic growth on an historical data for 18 countries over the period 1820-2005. The obtained shape shows up convexity for low enough values of life expectancy and concavity for large enough values. We then study this relationship on a benchmark model combining "per- petual youth" and learning-by-investing. In such a benchmark, the generated relationship between life expectancy and economic growth is shown to be strictly increasing and concave. We finally examine a model departing from "perpetual youth" by assuming age-dependent survival probabilities. We show that life-cycle behavior combined with age-dependent sur- vival laws can reproduce our empirical finding.

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Article provided by The International Society for Economic Theory in its journal International Journal of Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 5 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 201-244

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ijethy:v:5:y:2009:i:2:p:201-244
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  1. Raouf Boucekkine & David de la Croix & Dominique Peeters, 2004. "Early Literacy Achievements, Population Density and the Transition to Modern Growth," 2004 Meeting Papers 426, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Brander, James A & Dowrick, Steve, 1994. "The Role of Fertility and Population in Economic Growth: Empirical Results from Aggregate Cross-National Data," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 1-25.
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  4. Chakraborty, Shankha, 2004. "Endogenous lifetime and economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 119-137, May.
  5. Raouf, BOUCEKKINE & David de la Croix & Omar Lidandro, 2004. "Modelling vintage structures with DDEs : principles and applications," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2004004, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
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  7. Kelley, Allen C. & Schmidt, Robert M., 1995. "Aggregate Population and Economic Growth Correlations: The Role of the Components of Demographic Change," Working Papers 95-37, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  8. 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).
  9. Hamid Faruqee & Douglas Laxton & Steven Symansky, 1997. "Government Debt, Life-Cycle Income, and Liquidity Constraints: Beyond Approximate Ricardian Equivalence," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(3), pages 374-382, September.
  10. Raouf Boucekkine & David de la Croix & Omar Licandro, 2003. "Early Mortality Declines at the Dawn of Modern Growth," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(3), pages 401-418, 09.
  11. Bhargava, Alok & Jamison, Dean T. & Lau, Lawrence J. & Murray, Christopher J. L., 2001. "Modeling the effects of health on economic growth," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 423-440, May.
  12. 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.
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  15. Cruz A. Echevarría, 2004. "Life Expectancy, Schooling Time, Retirement, and Growth," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(4), pages 602-617, October.
  16. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  17. Rosa Aísa & Fernando Pueyo, 2004. "Endogenous longevity, health and economic growth: a slow growth for a longer life?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 9(3), pages 1-10.
  18. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:9:y:2004:i:3:p:1-10 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Hamid Faruqee, 2002. "Debt, Deficits, and Age-Specific Mortality," IMF Working Papers 02/19, International Monetary Fund.
  20. Deaton,Angus & Muellbauer,John, 1980. "Economics and Consumer Behavior," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521296762, October.
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