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A closer look at the relationship between life expectancy and economic growth

  • AZOMAHOU, Théophile T.
  • BOUCEKKINE, Raouf
  • DIENE, Bity

We first provide a nonparametric inference of the relationship between life expectancy and economic growth on an historical data for 18 countries over the period 1820-2005. The obtained shape shows up convexity for low enough values of life expectancy and concavity for large enough values. We then study this relationship on a benchmark model combining “perpetual youth†and learning-by-investing. In such a benchmark, the generated relationship between life expectancy and economic growth is shown to be strictly increasing and concave. We finally examine a model departing from “perpetual youth†by assuming age-dependent survival probabilities. We show that life-cycle behavior combined with age-dependent survival laws can reproduce our empirical finding.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1742-7363.2009.00105.x
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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 2115.

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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvrp:2115
Note: In : International Journal of Economic Theory, 5, 201-244, 2009
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  1. Raouf, BOUCEKKINE & David, DE LA CROIX & Dominique, PEETERS, 2005. "Early Literacy Achievements, Population Density and the Transition to Modern Growth," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2005023, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  2. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  3. BOUCEKKINE, Raouf & DE LA CROIX, David & LICANDRO, Omar, . "Early mortality declines at the dawn of modern growth," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1681, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. Hamid Faruqee & Douglas Laxton & Steven Symansky, 1997. "Government Debt, Life-Cycle Income, and Liquidity Constraints: Beyond Approximate Ricardian Equivalence," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(3), pages 374-382, September.
  5. Raouf Boucekkine & David de la Croix & Omar Licandro, . "Modelling vintage structures with DDEs: Principles and applications," Working Papers 2004-07, FEDEA.
  6. Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 1988. "Consumption and Capital Market Imperfection: An International Comparison," CEPR Discussion Papers 244, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Boucekkine, Raouf & de la Croix, David & Licandro, Omar, 2000. "Vintage Human Capital, Demographic Trends and Endogenous Growth," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2000007, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  8. Bhargava, Alok & Jamison, Dean T. & Lau, Lawrence J. & Murray, Christopher J. L., 2001. "Modeling the effects of health on economic growth," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 423-440, May.
  9. Rosa Aísa & Fernando Pueyo, 2004. "Endogenous longevity, health and economic growth: a slow growth for a longer life?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 9(3), pages 1-10.
  10. James A. Brander & Steve Dowrick, 1993. "The Role of Fertility and Population in Economic Growth: Empirical ResultsFrom Aggregate Cross-National Data," NBER Working Papers 4270, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Hamid Faruqee, 2003. "Debt, Deficits, and Age-specific Mortality," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(2), pages 300-312, April.
  12. Chakraborty, Shankha, 2004. "Endogenous lifetime and economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 119-137, May.
  13. repec:cor:louvrp:-1758 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:9:y:2004:i:3:p:1-10 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Deaton,Angus & Muellbauer,John, 1980. "Economics and Consumer Behavior," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521296762, 1.
  16. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem & Ryder, Harl E. & Weil, David N., 2000. "Mortality decline, human capital investment, and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 1-23, June.
  17. Kelley, Allen C. & Schmidt, Robert M., 1995. "Aggregate Population and Economic Growth Correlations: The Role of the Components of Demographic Change," Working Papers 95-37, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  18. Cruz A. Echevarría, 2004. "Life Expectancy, Schooling Time, Retirement, and Growth," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(4), pages 602-617, October.
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