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

Optimal prevention when coexistence matters

  • Marie-Louise Leroux
  • Grégory Ponthière


We study the optimal subsidy on prevention against premature death in an economy composed of two-person households, where the survival of the spouse matters, either because of self-oriented coexistence concerns or because of altruism. Under a noncooperative household model, the laissez-faire prevention levels are shown to be lower than the first-best levels, to an extent that is increasing in self-oriented coexistence concerns and decreasing in spousal altruism. The decentralization of the social optimum thus requires a subsidy on prevention depending on the precise type of coexistence concerns. Our results are shown to be globally robust to the introduction of imperfect observability of preferences, life insurance, imperfect marriage matching, and myopia. We conclude by studying the optimal prevention in a cooperative household model with unequal bargaining power. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

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: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

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 Springer in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 26 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 1095-1127

in new window

Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:26:y:2013:i:3:p:1095-1127
Contact details of provider: Phone: +43-70-2468-8236
Fax: +43-70-2468-8238
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

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. Gregory Ponthiere, 2007. "Measuring longevity achievements under welfare interdependencies: a case for joint life expectancy indicators," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 84(2), pages 203-230, November.
  2. LEROUX, Marie-Louise & PONTHIERE, Gregory, . "Optimal tax policy and expected longevity: a mean and variance utility approach," CORE Discussion Papers RP 2158, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. CREMER, Helmuth & LOZACHMEUR, Jean-Marie & PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "Income taxation of couples and the tax unit choice," CORE Discussion Papers RP 2372, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Apps, Patricia F. & Rees, Ray, 1988. "Taxation and the household," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 355-369, April.
  6. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Emmanuel Saez, 2006. "The Optimal Income Taxation of Couples," NBER Working Papers 12685, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. repec:cor:louvrp:-1753 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Daniela Del Boca & Christopher J. Flinn, 1994. "Expenditure Decisions of Divorced Mothers and Income Composition," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(3), pages 742-761.
  9. PESTIEAU, Pierre & SATO, Motohiro, 2004. "Long term care: the state, the market and the family," CORE Discussion Papers 2004082, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  10. Zhiqi Chen & Frances Woolley, 1999. "A Cournot-Nash Model of Family Decision Making," Carleton Economic Papers 99-13, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2001.
  11. John Mullahy & Jody L. Sindelar, 1995. "Employment, Unemployment, and Problem Drinking," NBER Working Papers 5123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Konrad, Kai A & Lommerud, Kjell Erik, 1995. " Family Policy with Non-cooperative Families," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 581-601, December.
  13. Rees, Ray, 1988. "Taxation and the Household," Munich Reprints in Economics 3411, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  14. Martin Browning, 1994. "The Saving Behaviour of a Two Person Household," Department of Economics Working Papers 1994-01, McMaster University.
  15. Mullahy, John & Portney, Paul R., 1990. "Air pollution, cigarette smoking, and the production of respiratory health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 193-205, September.
  16. Boskin, Michael J. & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1983. "Optimal tax treatment of the family: Married couples," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 281-297, April.
  17. Patricia F. Apps & Ray Rees, 1999. "Individual versus Joint Taxation in Models with Household Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 393-403, April.
  18. Patricia Apps & Ray Rees, 2007. "The Taxation of Couples," CEPR Discussion Papers 559, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  19. 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.
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:spr:jopoec:v:26:y:2013:i:3:p:1095-1127. 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: (Sonal Shukla)

or (Christopher F Baum)

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.