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Should we subsidize longevity?

Author

Listed:
  • Marie-Louise Leroux

    (CORE - Center of Operation Research and Econometrics [Louvain] - UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain = Catholic University of Louvain)

  • Pierre Pestieau

    (CORE - Center of Operation Research and Econometrics [Louvain] - UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain = Catholic University of Louvain, CREPP - Center of Research in Public Economics and Population Economics - Université de Liège, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR, PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Grégory Ponthière

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

This paper studies the design of the optimal non linear taxation in an economy where longevity varies across agents, and depends on three factors: longevity genes, health investment and farsightedness. Provided earnings, farsightedness and genes are correlated, governmental intervention can be justi.ed on two grounds: correction for a lack of farsightedness and redistribution across both earnings and genetic dimensions. Whether longevity-enhancing spending should be subsidized or taxed is shown to depend on the combined effects of myopia, self-selection and free-riding on the annuity returns. Our policy conclusions depend also on how productivity and genes are correlated, on the complementarity of genes and efforts in the survival function, and on how the government weights the welfare of heterogeneous agents. All in all, it might be desirable to tax longevity-enhancing spending.

Suggested Citation

  • Marie-Louise Leroux & Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthière, 2008. "Should we subsidize longevity?," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586236, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00586236
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00586236
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
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    9. Pierre-André Jouvet & Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2010. "Longevity and environmental quality in an OLG model," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 100(3), pages 191-216, July.
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    12. Helmuth Cremer & Jean‐Marie Lozachmeur & Pierre Pestieau, 2010. "Collective Annuities and Redistribution," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(1), pages 23-41, February.
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    16. LEROUX, Marie-Louise, 2008. "Endogenous differential mortality, non monitored effort and optimal non linear taxation," LIDAM Discussion Papers CORE 2008029, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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    Cited by:

    1. Gregory Ponthiere, 2010. "Unequal Longevities and Lifestyles Transmission," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(1), pages 93-126, February.
    2. Leroux, Marie-Louise & Ponthiere, Gregory, 2013. "Utilitarianism and unequal longevities: A remedy?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 888-899.
    3. Julio Davila & Marie-Louise Leroux, 2009. "On the fiscal treatment of life expectancy related choices," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00423933, HAL.
    4. LEROUX, Marie - Louise & PONTHIERE, Grégory, 2009. "Wives, husbands and wheelchairs : Optimal tax policy under gender-specific health," LIDAM Discussion Papers CORE 2009071, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    optimal taxation; longevity; genetic background; heterogeneity; myopia; taxation optimale; longévité; bagage génétique; hétérogénéité; myopie;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General

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