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Optimal linear taxation under endogenous longevity

Author

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  • 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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marie-Louise Leroux & Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthière, 2008. "Should we subsidize longevity?," Working Papers halshs-00586236, HAL.
    2. FLEURBAEY, Marc & LEROUX, Marie - Louise & PONTHIERE, Gregory, 2010. "Compensating the dead? Yes we can!," CORE Discussion Papers 2010066, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    3. 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.
    4. Fleurbaey, Marc & Leroux, Marie-Louise & Ponthiere, Gregory, 2014. "Compensating the dead," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 28-41.
    5. Pierre PESTIEAU & Gregory PONTHIERE, 2016. "Longevity Variations and the Welfare State," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 82(2), pages 207-239, June.
    6. Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2012. "The Public Economics of Increasing Longevity," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 200(1), pages 41-74, March.
    7. Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2014. "Policy Implications of Changing Longevity," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 60(1), pages 178-212.
    8. 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.
    9. Stelter, Robert, 2014. "Over-aging: Are present human populations too old?," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 137, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
    10. Leroux, Marie-Louise & Ponthiere, Gregory, 2013. "Utilitarianism and unequal longevities: A remedy?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 888-899.
    11. Chu-chuan Cheng & Hsun Chu, 2018. "Optimal policies for sin goods and health care: Tax or subsidy?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 25(2), pages 412-429, April.
    12. 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.
    13. Torben M. Andersen & Marias H. Gestsson, 2010. "Longevity, Growth and Intergenerational Equity - The Deterministic Case," Economics wp52, Department of Economics, Central bank of Iceland.
    14. Stelter, Robert, 2016. "Over-aging — Are present-day human populations too old?," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 116-143.
    15. Julio Davila & Marie-Louise Leroux, 2009. "On the fiscal treatment of life expectancy related choices," Post-Print halshs-00423933, 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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