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Optimal linear taxation under endogenous longevity

Author

Listed:
  • LEROUX, Marie-Louise

    (Université catholique de Louvain (UCL). Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE))

  • PESTIEAU, Pierre

    (Université catholique de Louvain (UCL). Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE))

  • PONTHIÈRE, Grégory

Abstract

This paper studies the optimal linear tax-transfer policy in an economy where agents differ in productivity and in genetic background, and where longevity depends on health spending and genes. It is shown that, if agents internalize imperfectly the impact of genes and health spending on longevity, the utilitarian social optimum can be decentralized with type-specific redistributive lump sum transfers and Pigouvian taxes correcting for agents's myopia (leading to undersaving and underinvestment in health), and for their incapacity to perceive the effect of health spending on the resource constraint of the economy (causing overinvestment in health). The second-best problem is also examined under linear taxation instruments. Our main result is that it may be optimal to tax health spending, in particular under a complementarity of genes and health spending in the production of longevity.

Suggested Citation

  • LEROUX, Marie-Louise & PESTIEAU, Pierre & PONTHIÈRE, Grégory, 2008. "Optimal linear taxation under endogenous longevity," CORE Discussion Papers 2008051, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2008051
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    File URL: http://www.uclouvain.be/cps/ucl/doc/core/documents/coredp2008_51.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Helmuth Cremer & Jean-Marie Lozachmeur & Pierre Pestieau, 2010. "Collective Annuities and Redistribution," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(1), pages 23-41, February.
    2. Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere & Motohiro Sato, 2008. "Longevity, Health Spending, and Pay-as-you-Go Pensions," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 64(1), pages 1-18, March.
    3. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1987:77:3:307-312_7 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. 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.
    5. Torben Andersen & Joydeep Bhattacharya, 2011. "On myopia as rationale for social security," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 47(1), pages 135-158, May.
    6. EECKHOUDT, Louis & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 2007. "Fear of ruin and longevity enhancing investment," CORE Discussion Papers 2007032, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    7. Helmuth Cremer & Philippe De Donder & Darío Maldonado & Pierre Pestieau, 2012. "Taxing Sin Goods and Subsidizing Health Care," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(1), pages 101-123, March.
    8. Broome, John, 2006. "Weighing Lives," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199297702.
    9. Jie Zhang & Junsen Zhang & Michael Leung, 2006. "Health investment, saving, and public policy," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(1), pages 68-93, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Torben M. Andersen & Marias H. Gestsson, 2010. "Longevity, Growth and Intergenerational Equity - The Deterministic Case," Economics wp52, Department of Economics, Central bank of Iceland.
    2. Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthière, 2012. "The public economics of increasing longevity," Working Papers halshs-00676492, HAL.
    3. LEROUX, Marie-Louise & PESTIEAU, Pierre & PONTHIÈRE, Grégory, 2008. "Should we subsidize longevity?," CORE Discussion Papers 2008058, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    4. Carlotta Balestra & Davide Dottori, 2012. "Aging society, health and the environment," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(3), pages 1045-1076, July.
    5. Pierre-André Jouvet & Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2010. "Longevity and environmental quality in an OLG model," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 100(3), pages 191-216, July.
    6. Fleurbaey, Marc & Leroux, Marie-Louise & Ponthiere, Gregory, 2014. "Compensating the dead," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 28-41.
    7. Leroux, Marie-Louise & Ponthiere, Gregory, 2013. "Utilitarianism and unequal longevities: A remedy?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 888-899.
    8. Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2012. "The Public Economics of Increasing Longevity," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 200(1), pages 41-74, March.
    9. Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthiere, 2012. "On the Policy Implications of Changing Longevity," CESifo Working Paper Series 3926, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. Marc Fleurbaey & Marie-Louise Leroux & Grégory Ponthière, 2010. "Compensating the dead? Yes we can!," Working Papers halshs-00564934, HAL.
    11. Stelter, Robert, 2014. "Over-aging: Are present human populations too old?," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 137, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
    12. Stelter, Robert, 2016. "Over-aging — Are present-day human populations too old?," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 116-143.
    13. Dávila, Julio & Leroux, Marie-Louise, 2015. "Efficiency in overlapping generations economies with longevity choices and fair annuities," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 363-383.
    14. Cheng, Chu-Chuan & Chu, Hsun, 2017. "Optimal Policies for Sin Goods and Health Care: Tax or Subsidy?," MPRA Paper 80183, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00423933 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Marie-Louise Leroux & Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthière, 2008. "Should we subsidize longevity?," Working Papers halshs-00586236, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    longevity; myopia; genetic background; social security; paternalism;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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