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Limited self‐control and longevity


  • Holger Strulik


This paper proposes a new framework to discuss self‐control problems in the context of life‐cycle health and longevity. Individual decisions are conceptualized as the partial control of impulsive desires of a short‐run self by a rationally forward‐looking long‐run self. The short‐run self strives for immediate gratification through consumption of health‐neutral and unhealthy goods. The long‐run self reflects the long‐term consequences of unhealthy behavior on health outcomes and longevity and invests time and money to improve current and future health. The model is calibrated with data from the United States and used to provide an assessment of the impact of imperfect self‐control on unhealthy consumption, health investments, lifetime health, and the age at death.

Suggested Citation

  • Holger Strulik, 2019. "Limited self‐control and longevity," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(1), pages 57-64, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:28:y:2019:i:1:p:57-64
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.3827

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    Cited by:

    1. Strulik, Holger & Werner, Katharina, 2019. "Time-inconsistent health behavior and its impact on aging and longevity," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 381, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.

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