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Aging society, health and the environment

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  • Balestra, Carlotta

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

  • DOTTORI, Davide

Abstract

Both environmental quality and health care expenditure are determinants of health and life expectancy, but the support for them appears to be different according to the electors' age, with a relatively larger support for health expenditure among the elderly as it is generally effective on a shorter horizon than environmental maintenance. With population aging, the political support for health care expenditure is then self-reinforcing. We cast this issue in an overlapping generations model with endogenous longevity, where lifespan depends on health care expenditure and environmental quality. We compare the long run outcomes for health care expenditure, environmental quality, lifespan, consumption and capital accumulation of an economy where agents vote over health spending and environmental maintenance, with those chosen by a social planner who takes into account also the welfare of future generations. The role played by other factors, such as the propensity for smoothing consumption or the degree of annuity markets, is also highlighted. Empirical evidence of age-biased environmental care is provided.

Suggested Citation

  • Balestra, Carlotta & DOTTORI, Davide, 2009. "Aging society, health and the environment," LIDAM Discussion Papers CORE 2009037, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2009037
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    population aging; endogenous longevity; environmental and health expenditure; annuity markets; inter-generational conflict; overlapping generations;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy

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