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Endogenous mortality, human capital and economic growth

  • Osang, Thomas
  • Sarkar, Jayanta

We consider growth and welfare effects of lifetime-uncertainty in an economy with human capital-led endogenous growth. We argue that lifetime uncertainty reduces private incentives to invest in both physical and human capital. Using an overlapping generations framework with finite-lived households we analyze the relevance of government expenditure on health and education to counter such growth-reducing forces. We focus on three different models that differ with respect to the mode of financing of education: (i) both private and public spending, (ii) only public spending, and (iii) only private spending. Results show that models (i) and (iii) outperform model (ii) with respect to long-term growth rates of per capita income, welfare levels and other important macroeconomic indicators. Theoretical predictions of model rankings for these macroeconomic indicators are also supported by observed stylized facts.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 30 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 1423-1445

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:30:y:2008:i:4:p:1423-1445
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622617

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  1. Sergio Rebelo, 1999. "Long Run Policy Analysis and Long Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2114, David K. Levine.
  2. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B, 1992. "Public versus Private Investment in Human Capital Endogenous Growth and Income Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 818-34, August.
  3. Lakshmi K. Raut, 2003. "Long Term Effects of Preschool Investment on school Performance and Labor Market Outcome," Labor and Demography 0307002, EconWPA.
  4. 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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  8. Boldrin, Michele, 2005. "Public education and capital accumulation," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 85-109, June.
  9. 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.
  10. Joseph G. Altonji & Fumio Hayashi & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1989. "Is the Extended Family Altruistically Linked? Direct Tests Using Micro Data," NBER Working Papers 3046, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Chakraborty, Shankha, 2004. "Endogenous lifetime and economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 119-137, May.
  12. Soares, Jorge, 2005. "Public education reform: Community or national funding of education?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 669-697, April.
  13. Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-46, June.
  14. Barro, R.J., 1988. "Government Spending In A Simple Model Of Endogenous Growth," RCER Working Papers 130, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  15. Javier Birchenall, 2007. "Escaping high mortality," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 351-387, December.
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  17. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B., 1997. "Productive government expenditures and long-run growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 183-204, January.
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