IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Existence and stability of overconsumption equilibria

  • Ponthiere, Gregory

Growth models with endogenous mortality assume generally that life expectancy is increasing with output per capita and, thus, with individual consumption, whatever its level is. However, empirical evidence supports a U-shaped relationship between consumption and mortality, implying that the monotonicity of that relation is local but not global. This paper develops a two-period OLG model where life expectancy is a non-monotone function of consumption, and where agents form myopic anticipations about life expectancy. The existence, uniqueness and stability of steady-state equilibria are studied. It is shown that overconsumption equilibria -- i.e. equilibria at which consumption exceeds the level maximizing life expectancy -- exist in highly productive economies with a low impatience. We identify also conditions under which there exist long-run cycles in output and longevity around overconsumption equilibria.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economic Modelling.

Volume (Year): 28 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1-2 (January)
Pages: 74-90

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:28:y:2011:i:1-2:p:74-90
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Robert W. Fogel, 1994. "Economic Growth, Population Theory, and Physiology: The Bearing of Long-Term Processes on the Making of Economic Policy," NBER Working Papers 4638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 2002. "The Growth of Obesity and Technological Change: A Theoretical and Empirical Examination," NBER Working Papers 8946, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Boucekkine, Raouf & de la Croix, David & Licandro, Omar, 2002. "Vintage Human Capital, Demographic Trends, and Endogenous Growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 340-375, June.
  4. Richard A. Easterlin, 1962. "The American Baby Boom in Historical Perspective," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number east62-1, December.
  5. Pierre-André Jouvet & Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2010. "Longevity and environmental quality in an OLG model," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 100(3), pages 191-216, July.
  6. Yongil Jeon & Michael P. Shields, 2005. "The Easterlin hypothesis in the recent experience of higher-income OECD countries: A panel-data approach," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 1-13, 08.
  7. Raouf BOUCEKKINE & David DE LA CROIX & Omar LICANDRO, 2002. "Early Mortality Declines at the Dawn of Modern Growth," Economics Working Papers ECO2002/11, European University Institute.
  8. Oded_Galor & Omer Moav, 2004. "Natural Selection and the Evolution of Life Expectancy," Working Papers 2004-14, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  9. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1989. "Can There Be Short-Period Deterministic Cycles When People Are Long Lived?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(1), pages 163-185.
  10. de la Croix, David & Licandro, Omar, 1999. "Life expectancy and endogenous growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 255-263, November.
  11. 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.
  12. Grandmont Jean-michel, 1983. "On endogenous competitive business cycles," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 8316, CEPREMAP.
  13. Day, Richard H, 1982. "Irregular Growth Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 406-14, June.
  14. de la Croix,David & Michel,Philippe, 2002. "A Theory of Economic Growth," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521001151.
  15. anonymous, 1986. "Extension of period for comment," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Mar, pages 194.
  16. Farmer, Roger E. A., 1986. "Deficits and cycles," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 77-88, October.
  17. Barro, R.J. & Becker, G.S., 1988. "Fertility Choice In A Model Of Economic Growth," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 88-8, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  18. Raouf Boucekkine & Bity Diene & Theophile Azomahou, 2007. "A closer look at the relationship between life expectancy and economic growth," Working Papers 2007_24, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  19. Richard A. Easterlin, 1962. "Foreword to "The American Baby Boom in Historical Perspective"," NBER Chapters, in: The American Baby Boom in Historical Perspective, pages 1-2 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Fogel, Robert W, 2004. "Health, Nutrition, and Economic Growth," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(3), pages 643-58, April.
  21. Pritchett, Lant & Summers, Lawrence H., 1993. "Wealthier is healthier," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1150, The World Bank.
  22. Sudhir Anand & Martin Ravallion, 1993. "Human Development in Poor Countries: On the Role of Private Incomes and Public Services," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 133-150, Winter.
  23. Samuel H. Preston, 1980. "Causes and Consequences of Mortality Declines in Less Developed Countries during the Twentieth Century," NBER Chapters, in: Population and Economic Change in Developing Countries, pages 289-360 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Shapiro, Jesse & Glaeser, Edward & Cutler, David, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese," Scholarly Articles 2640583, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  25. Gregory Ponthiere, 2010. "Unequal Longevities and Lifestyles Transmission," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(1), pages 93-126, 02.
  26. Rosen, Sherwin & Murphy, Kevin M & Scheinkman, Jose A, 1994. "Cattle Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 468-92, June.
  27. Cervellati, Matteo & Sunde, Uwe, 2005. "Human capital formation, life expectancy, and the process of development," Munich Reprints in Economics 20083, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  28. Blackburn, Keith & Cipriani, Giam Pietro, 2002. "A model of longevity, fertility and growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 187-204, February.
  29. Shankha Chakraborty, 2002. "Endogenous Lifetime and Economic Growth," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2002-03, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 26 Jan 2002.
  30. Bhattacharya, Joydeep & Qiao, Xue, 2005. "Public and Private Expenditures on Health in a Growth Model," Staff General Research Papers 12378, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  31. Tomas Philipson & Richard Posner, 2008. "Is the Obesity Epidemic a Public Health Problem? A Decade of Research on the Economics of Obesity," NBER Working Papers 14010, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good for Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650.
  33. 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.
  34. Ehrlich, Isaac & Lui, Francis T, 1991. "Intergenerational Trade, Longevity, and Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 1029-59, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:28:y:2011:i:1-2:p:74-90. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.