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Compensating the dead? Yes we can!

Author

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  • FLEURBAEY, Marc

    (CNRS, University Paris-Descartes & Sciences-Po, Paris, France; Université catholique de Louvain , CORE, B- 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium; LSE; IDEP)

  • LEROUX, Marie - Louise

    () (Université catholique de Louvain, CORE, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

  • PONTHIERE, Gregory

    () (Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris School of Economics, F-75014 Paris, France)

Abstract

An early death is, undoubtedly, a serious disadvantage. However, the compensation of short-lived individuals has remained so far largely unexplored, probably because it appears infeasible. Indeed, short-lived agents can hardly be identified ex ante, and cannot be compensated ex post. We argue that, despite the above difficulties, a compensation can be carried out by encouraging early consumption in the life cycle. In a model with heterogeneous preferences and longevities, we show how a specific social criterion can be derived from intuitive principles, and we study the corresponding optimal policy under various informational assumptions. We also study the robustness of our solution to alternative types of preferences and savings policies.

Suggested Citation

  • 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).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2010066
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Fleurbaey,Marc & Maniquet,François, 2011. "A Theory of Fairness and Social Welfare," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521715348.
    2. Gary S. Becker & Tomas J. Philipson & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005. "The Quantity and Quality of Life and the Evolution of World Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 277-291, March.
    3. Antoine Bommier & Marie‐Louise Leroux & Jean‐Marie Lozachmeur, 2011. "Differential mortality and social security," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 44(1), pages 273-289, February.
    4. Marie-Louise Leroux & Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2011. "Optimal linear taxation under endogenous longevity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(1), pages 213-237, January.
    5. Leroux, Marie-Louise & Ponthiere, Gregory, 2013. "Utilitarianism and unequal longevities: A remedy?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 888-899.
    6. Bommier, Antoine & Leroux, Marie-Louise & Lozachmeur, Jean-Marie, 2011. "On the public economics of annuities with differential mortality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 612-623.
    7. Elisha A. Pazner & David Schmeidler, 1978. "Egalitarian Equivalent Allocations: A New Concept of Economic Equity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 92(4), pages 671-687.
    8. François Maniquet & Yves Sprumont, 2004. "Fair Production and Allocation of an Excludable Nonrival Good," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(2), pages 627-640, March.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. How to compensate the short-lived
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-11-23 21:31:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Delprat, G. & Leroux, M.-L. & Michaud, P.-C., 2016. "Evidence on individual preferences for longevity risk," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(2), pages 160-179, April.
    2. Gregory Ponthiere, 2013. "Fair Accumulation under Risky Lifetime," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 60(2), pages 210-230, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    compensation; longevity; mortality; fairness; redistribution;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy

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