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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 perpetual 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 two models departing from perpetual youth" by assuming successively age-dependent earnings and age-dependent survival probabilities. With age-dependent earnings, the obtained relationship is hump-shaped while agedependent survival laws do reproduce the convex-concave shape detected in the prior empirical study.

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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. 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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