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Negligible Senescence: An Economic Life Cycle Model for the Future

Author

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  • Davide Dragone
  • Holger Strulik

Abstract

We propose a model of aging and health deficit accumulation model with an infinite time horizon and a steady state of constant health. The time of death is uncertain and endogenous to lifestyle and health behavior. This setup can be conceptualized as a strive for immortality that is never reached. We discuss adjustment dynamics and show that the new setup is particularly useful to understand aging of the oldest old, i.e. of individuals for which morbidity and mortality have reached a plateau. We then show how the existence of a steady state can be used to perform comparative dynamics exercises analytically. As an illustration we investigate the effects of more expensive health investment and of advances in medical technology on optimal short run and long run health behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Davide Dragone & Holger Strulik, 2018. "Negligible Senescence: An Economic Life Cycle Model for the Future," CESifo Working Paper Series 7246, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7246
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    File URL: https://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp7246.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. James Banks & Richard Blundell & Peter Levell & James P. Smith, 2015. "Life-Cycle Consumption Patterns at Older Ages in the US and the UK Can Medical Expenditures Explain the Difference?," Working Papers WR-1100, RAND Corporation.
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    4. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-255, March-Apr.
    5. Menahem E. Yaari, 1965. "Uncertain Lifetime, Life Insurance, and the Theory of the Consumer," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(2), pages 137-150.
    6. D. Dragone & P. Vanin, 2015. "Price Effect in the Short and in the Long Run," Working Papers wp1040, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    7. Schünemann, Johannes & Strulik, Holger & Trimborn, Timo, 2017. "The gender gap in mortality: How much is explained by behavior?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 79-90.
    8. Michael R. Caputo, 1990. "Comparative Dynamics via Envelope Methods in Variational Calculus," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(4), pages 689-697.
    9. Holger STRULIK, 2015. "A Closed-form Solution for the Health Capital Model," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 81(3), pages 301-316, September.
    10. Kuhn, Michael & Wrzaczek, Stefan & Prskawetz, Alexia & Feichtinger, Gustav, 2015. "Optimal choice of health and retirement in a life-cycle model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 158(PA), pages 186-212.
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    12. Holger Strulik & Sebastian Vollmer, 2013. "Long-run trends of human aging and longevity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(4), pages 1303-1323, October.
    13. Forster, Martin, 2001. "The meaning of death: some simulations of a model of healthy and unhealthy consumption," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 613-638, July.
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    16. Eisenring, Christoph, 1999. "Comparative dynamics in a health investment model," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 653-658, October.
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    18. Oniki, Hajime, 1973. "Comparative dynamics (sensitivity analysis) in optimal control theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 265-283, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    comparative dynamics; endogenous mortality; life-expectancy; medical progress;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income

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