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Longevity, genes and efforts: an optimal taxation approach to prevention

  • LEROUX, Marie-Louise
  • PESTIEAU, Pierre
  • PONTHIERE, Grégory

Abstract This paper applies the analytical tools of optimal taxation theory to the design of the optimal subsidy on preventive behaviours, in an economy where longevity varies across agents, and depends on preventive expenditures and on longevity genes. Public intervention can be here justified on three grounds: corrections for misperceptions of the survival process and for externalities related to individual preventive behaviour, and redistribution across both earnings and genetic dimensions. The optimal subsidy on preventive expenditures is shown to depend on the combined impacts of misperception, externalities and self-selection. It is generally optimal to subsidize preventive efforts to an extent depending on the degree of individual myopia, on how productivity and genes are correlated, and on the complementarity of genes and preventive efforts in the survival function.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhealeco.2010.10.003
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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers RP with number -2309.

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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvrp:-2309
Note: In : Journal of Health Economics, 30, 62-76, 2011
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  1. Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1985. "Expectations, Life Expectancy, and Economic Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(2), pages 389-408, May.
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  8. JOUVET, Pierre-André & PESTIEAU, Pierre & PONTHIERE, Gregory, 2007. "Longevity and environmental quality in an OLG model," CORE Discussion Papers 2007069, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  10. BOMMIER, Antoine & LEROUX, Marie- Louise & LOZACHMEUR, Jean- Marie, 2009. "On the public economics of annuities with differential mortality," CORE Discussion Papers 2009030, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  12. Broome, John, 2006. "Weighing Lives," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199297702, March.
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  14. Antoine Bommier, 2006. "Uncertain Lifetime And Intertemporal Choice: Risk Aversion As A Rationale For Time Discounting," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1223-1246, November.
  15. Cervellati, Matteo & Sunde, Uwe, 2002. "Human Capital Formation, Life Expectancy and the Process of Economic Development," IZA Discussion Papers 585, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  17. Richard Blundell & Martin Browning & Costas Meghir, 1993. "Consumer demand and the life-cycle allocation of household expenditures," IFS Working Papers W93/11, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  18. Matteo Cervellati & Uwe Sunde, 2005. "Human Capital Formation, Life Expectancy, and the Process of Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1653-1672, December.
  19. 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.
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