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Unequal longevities and lifestyles transmission


  • Grégory Ponthière

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)


Whereas studies on the optimal taxation under endogenous longevity assume a fixed heterogeneity of lifestyles, this paper considers the optimal tax policy in an economy where unequal longevities are the unintended outcome of differences in lifestyles, and where lifestyles are transmitted across generations. For that purpose, we develop a three-period OLG model where the population, who ignores the negative impact of excessive work on longevity, is partitioned in two groups with different tastes for leisure, and follows an adaptation/imitation process à la Bisin and Verdier (2001). The optimal short-run and long-run Pigouvian taxes on wages are shown to differ, because the latter correct agents'myopia, but also internalize intergenerational externalities due to the socialization process.

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  • Grégory Ponthière, 2008. "Unequal longevities and lifestyles transmission," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586010, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00586010
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tomas J. Philipson & Gary S. Becker, 1998. "Old-Age Longevity and Mortality-Contingent Claims," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 551-573, June.
    2. 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.
    3. Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere & Motohiro Sato, 2008. "Longevity, Health Spending, and Pay-as-you-Go Pensions," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 64(1), pages 1-18, March.
    4. Chakraborty, Shankha, 2004. "Endogenous lifetime and economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 119-137, May.
    5. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2001. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 298-319, April.
    6. EECKHOUDT, Louis & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 2007. "Fear of ruin and longevity enhancing investment," CORE Discussion Papers 2007032, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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    Cited by:

    1. Gregory Ponthiere, 2011. "Mortality, Family and Lifestyles," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 175-190, June.
    2. Ponthiere, Gregory, 2011. "Existence and stability of overconsumption equilibria," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 74-90.
    3. Ponthiere Gregory, 2013. "Long-Term Care, Altruism and Socialization," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(2), pages 429-471, October.
    4. Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2012. "The Public Economics of Increasing Longevity," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 200(1), pages 41-74, March.
    5. Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2012. "Myopia, regrets, and risky behaviors," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 19(2), pages 288-317, April.
    6. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2010. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and Socialization," NBER Working Papers 16512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Javier Olivera, 2013. "Old-age Support and Demographic Transition in Developing Countries. A Cultural Transmission Model," Working Papers 201307, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    8. Laura Leker & Gregory Ponthiere, 2015. "Education, life expectancy and family bargaining: the Ben-Porath effect revisited," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(4), pages 481-513, August.
    9. Ponthiere, Gregory, 2013. "Rationalizability and interactivity in evolutionary OLG models," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 105-116.

    More about this item


    longevity; OLG model; lifestyle; socialization; intergenerational externalities; Pigouvian taxes; longévité; modèle OLG; mode de vie; socialisation; externalités intergénérationnelles; taxes pigouviennes;

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