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Life expectancy and the environment

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  • Mariani, Fabio
  • Pérez-Barahona, Agustín
  • Raffin, Natacha

Abstract

We present an OLG model in which life expectancy and environmental quality dynamics are jointly determined. Agents may invest in environmental care, depending on how much they expect to live. In turn, environmental conditions affect life expectancy. As a result, our model produces a positive correlation between longevity and environmental quality, both in the long-run and along the transition path. Eventually, multiple equilibria may also arise: some countries might be caught in a low-life-expectancy/low-environmental-quality trap. This outcome is consistent with stylized facts relating life expectancy and environmental performance measures. We also discuss the welfare and policy implications of the inter-generational externalities generated by individual choices. Finally, we show that our results are robust to the introduction of growth dynamics based on physical or human capital accumulation.

Suggested Citation

  • Mariani, Fabio & Pérez-Barahona, Agustín & Raffin, Natacha, 2010. "Life expectancy and the environment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 798-815, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:34:y:2010:i:4:p:798-815
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental quality Life expectancy Poverty traps Human capital;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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