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

Life expectancy and economic growth

  • Kunze, Lars

This paper investigates the relationship between life expectancy and economic growth in an overlapping generations model with family altruism where private and public investments in human capital of children are the engine of endogenous growth. Consistent with recent empirical evidence, our model provides a theoretical case of a non-linear pattern between life expectancy and economic growth. However, it is also shown that the emergence of such a pattern critically depends on the existence of intergenerational transfers in form of bequests. Specifically, we find that rising life expectancy unambiguously decreases growth if bequests are operative, whereas there exists an inverted-U shape relationship in economies where bequests are inoperative.

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 Journal of Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 39 (2014)
Issue (Month): PA ()
Pages: 54-65

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:39:y:2014:i:pa:p:54-65
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. An, Chong-Bum & Jeon, Seung-Hoon, 2006. "Demographic change and economic growth: An inverted-U shape relationship," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 92(3), pages 447-454, September.
  2. Gonzalez-Eiras, Martin & Niepelt, Dirk, 2012. "Ageing, government budgets, retirement, and growth," MPRA Paper 44218, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Futagami, Koichi & Nakajima, Tetsuya, 2001. "Population Aging and Economic Growth," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 31-44, January.
  4. Lindert, Peter H., 1996. "What Limits Social Spending?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 1-34, January.
  5. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1999. "The Savers-Spenders Theory of Fiscal Policy," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1888, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  6. Zhang, Junsen & Zhang, Jie & Lee, Ronald, 2001. "Mortality decline and long-run economic growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 485-507, June.
  7. Kunze, Lars, 2010. "Capital taxation, long-run growth, and bequests," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1067-1082, December.
  8. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1979. "An Equilibrium Theory of the Distribution of Income and Intergenerational Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1153-89, December.
  9. David Bloom & David Canning & Rick Mansfield & Michael Moore, 2006. "Demographic Change, Social Security Systems, and Savings," PGDA Working Papers 1906, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
  10. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 2004. "The Value of Life and the Rise in Health Spending," NBER Working Papers 10737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Peter Lorentzen & John McMillan & Romain Wacziarg, 2005. "Death and Development," NBER Working Papers 11620, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2006. "Disease and Development: The Effect of Life Expectancy on Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 12269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Boucekkine, Raouf & de la Croix, David & Licandro, Omar, 2000. "Vintage Human Capital, Demographic Trends and Endogenous Growth," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2000007, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  14. Robert J. Barro, 1995. "Inflation and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5326, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. James M. Poterba, 1997. "Demographic structure and the political economy of public education," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 48-66.
  16. Stéphane Lambrecht & Philippe Michel & Emmanuel Thibault, 2006. "Capital Accumulation and Fiscal Policy in an OLG Model with Family Altruism," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 8(3), pages 465-486, 08.
  17. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Günther Fink, 2011. "Implications of Population Aging for Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 16705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Lambrecht, Stephane & Michel, Philippe & Vidal, Jean-Pierre, 2005. "Public pensions and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(5), pages 1261-1281, July.
  19. Osang, Thomas & Sarkar, Jayanta, 2008. "Endogenous mortality, human capital and economic growth," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1423-1445, December.
  20. de la Croix, David & Licandro, Omar, 1999. "Life expectancy and endogenous growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 255-263, November.
  21. William F. Blankenau & Nicole B. Simpson & Marc Tomljanovich, 2007. "Public Education Expenditures, Taxation, and Growth: Linking Data to Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 393-397, May.
  22. 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.
  23. Zhang, Jie & Zhang, Junsen & Lee, Ronald, 2003. "Rising longevity, education, savings, and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 83-101, February.
  24. Zhang, Jie & Zhang, Junsen, 2001. "Longevity and economic growth in a dynastic family model with an annuity market," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 269-277, August.
  25. Gradstein, Mark & Kaganovich, Michael, 2003. "Aging Population and Education Finance," CEPR Discussion Papers 3950, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  26. Laitner, John & Juster, F Thomas, 1996. "New Evidence on Altruism: A Study of TIAA-CREF Retirees," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 893-908, September.
  27. Allen Kelley & Robert Schmidt, 1995. "Aggregate population and economic growth correlations: The role of the components of demographic change," Demography, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 543-555, November.
  28. Jie Zhang & Junsen Zhang, 2005. "The Effect of Life Expectancy on Fertility, Saving, Schooling and Economic Growth: Theory and Evidence," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(1), pages 45-66, 03.
  29. Tomes, Nigel, 1981. "The Family, Inheritance, and the Intergenerational Transmission of Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 928-58, October.
  30. Kunze, Lars, 2012. "Funded social security and economic growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 180-183.
  31. 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.
  32. Liao, Pei-Ju, 2011. "Does demographic change matter for growth?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(5), pages 659-677, June.
  33. Ladd, Helen F. & Murray, Sheila E., 2001. "Intergenerational conflict reconsidered: county demographic structure and the demand for public education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 343-357, August.
  34. Harris, Amy Rehder & Evans, William N. & Schwab, Robert M., 2001. "Education spending in an aging America," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 449-472, September.
  35. Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
  36. Tabata, Ken, 2005. "Population aging, the costs of health care for the elderly and growth," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 472-493, September.
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:jmacro:v:39:y:2014:i:pa:p:54-65. 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.