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Unequal Longevities and Lifestyles Transmission

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  • GREGORY PONTHIERE

Abstract

Whereas studies on the optimal taxation under endogenous longevity assume a fixed heterogeneity of lifestyles, this paper analyses the optimal tax policy in an economy where unequal longevities are the unintended outcome of differences in lifestyles, and where lifestyles are transmitted across generations. For that purpose, we develop a three‐period OLG model where the population, who ignores the negative impact of excessive work on longevity, is partitioned in two groups with different tastes for leisure, and follows an adaptation/imitation process à la Bisin and Verdier (2001). The optimal short‐ and long‐run Pigouvian taxes on wages are shown to differ, because the latter correct agents' myopia, but also internalize intergenerational externalities due to the socialization process. The internalization of composition effects raises the Pigouvian tax on the wage of one type of agents, but reduces it on the other type, in such a way as to induce the optimal long‐run partition of the population.

Suggested Citation

  • Gregory Ponthiere, 2010. "Unequal Longevities and Lifestyles Transmission," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(1), pages 93-126, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:12:y:2010:i:1:p:93-126
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9779.2009.01449.x
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    1. Chakraborty, Shankha, 2004. "Endogenous lifetime and economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 119-137, May.
    2. Tomas J. Philipson & Gary S. Becker, 1998. "Old-Age Longevity and Mortality-Contingent Claims," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 551-573, June.
    3. Marie-Louise Leroux & Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthière, 2008. "Should we subsidize longevity?," Working Papers halshs-00586236, HAL.
    4. EECKHOUDT, Louis & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 2007. "Fear of ruin and longevity enhancing investment," LIDAM Discussion Papers CORE 2007032, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    5. Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere & Motohiro Sato, 2008. "Longevity, Health Spending, and Pay-as-you-Go Pensions," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 64(1), pages 1-18, March.
    6. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2001. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 298-319, April.
    7. Jie Zhang & Junsen Zhang & Michael Leung, 2006. "Health investment, saving, and public policy," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(1), pages 68-93, February.
    8. Jie Zhang & Junsen Zhang & Michael C.M. Leung, 2006. "Health investment, saving, and public policy," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 39(1), pages 68-93, February.
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    1. Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2012. "The Public Economics of Increasing Longevity," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 200(1), pages 41-74, March.
    2. Gregory Ponthiere, 2011. "Mortality, Family and Lifestyles," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 175-190, June.
    3. Ponthiere, Gregory, 2011. "Existence and stability of overconsumption equilibria," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 74-90.
    4. Laura Leker & Gregory Ponthiere, 2015. "Education, life expectancy and family bargaining: the Ben-Porath effect revisited," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(4), pages 481-513, August.
    5. Marie-Louise Leroux & Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2011. "Optimal linear taxation under endogenous longevity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(1), pages 213-237, January.
    6. Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2012. "Myopia, regrets, and risky behaviors," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 19(2), pages 288-317, April.
    7. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2010. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and Socialization," Post-Print halshs-00754788, HAL.
    8. Ponthiere Gregory, 2013. "Long-Term Care, Altruism and Socialization," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(2), pages 429-471, October.
    9. Ponthiere, Gregory, 2013. "Rationalizability and interactivity in evolutionary OLG models," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 105-116.
    10. Javier Olivera, 2013. "Old-age Support and Demographic Transition in Developing Countries. A Cultural Transmission Model," Working Papers 201307, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.

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