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A dynamic-efficiency rationale for public investment in the health of the young

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  • Torben M. Andersen
  • Joydeep Bhattacharya

Abstract

In this paper we assume away standard distributional and staticefficiency arguments for public health and instead seek a dynamic efficiency rationale. We study a lifecycle model wherein young agents make health investments to reduce mortality risk. We identify a welfare rationale for public health under dynamic efficiency and exogenous mortality even when private and public investments are perfect substitutes. If health investment reduces mortality risk but individuals do not internalize its effect on the lifeannuity interest rate, the PhilipsonBecker effect emerges; when the young are net borrowers, this works together with dynamic efficiency to support a role for public health.

Suggested Citation

  • Torben M. Andersen & Joydeep Bhattacharya, 2014. "A dynamic-efficiency rationale for public investment in the health of the young," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 47(3), pages 697-719, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:47:y:2014:i:3:p:697-719
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Maik T. Schneider & Ralph Winkler, 2010. "Growth and Welfare under Endogenous Lifetime," Diskussionsschriften dp1013, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
    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. Davies, James B. & Kuhn, Peter, 1992. "Social security, longevity, and moral hazard," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 91-106, October.
    4. 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.
    5. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1989. "Lectures on Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262022834, March.
    6. 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 223-255, March-Apr.
    7. Johansson, Per-Olov, 2000. "Properties of actuarially fair and pay-as-you-go health insurance schemes for the elderly. An OLG model approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 477-498, July.
    8. Momota, Akira & Tabata, Ken & Futagami, Koichi, 2005. "Infectious disease and preventive behavior in an overlapping generations model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(10), pages 1673-1700, October.
    9. Antonio Rangel, 2003. "Forward and Backward Intergenerational Goods: Why Is Social Security Good for the Environment?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 813-834, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Torben Andersen & Mikkel Hermansen, 2014. "Durable consumption, saving and retirement," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(3), pages 825-840, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation

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