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The cost of uncertain life span

  • Ryan Edwards

    ()

Much uncertainty surrounds the length of human life. The standard deviation in adult life span is about 15 years in the USA, and theory and evidence suggest that it is costly. I calibrate a utility-theoretic model that shows that 1 year in standard deviation is worth about half a life year. Differences in variance exacerbate health inequalities between and among rich and poor countries. Accounting for the cost of life-span variance appears to amplify recently discovered patterns of convergence in world average human well-being because the component of variance due to infant mortality has exhibited even more convergence than life expectancy. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00148-012-0405-0
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 26 (2013)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 1485-1522

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:26:y:2013:i:4:p:1485-1522
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