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Optimal linear taxation under endogenous longevity

Author

Listed:
  • Marie-Louise Leroux

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

  • Pierre Pestieau

    (CORE - Center of Operation Research and Econometrics [Louvain] - UCL - Université Catholique de 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 - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - 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 - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - 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 optimal linear tax-transfer policy in an economy where agents differ in productivity and in genetic background, and where longevity depends on health spending and genes. It is shown that, if agents internalize imperfectly the impact of genes and health spending on longevity, the utilitarian social optimum can be decentralized with type-specific redistributive lump sum transfers and Pigouvian taxes correcting for agents' myopia (leading to undersaving and underinvestment in health), and for their incapacity to perceive the effect of health spending on the resource constraint of the economy (causing overinvestment in health). The second-best problem is also examined under linear taxation instruments. Our main result is that it may be optimal to tax health spending, in particular under a complementarity of genes and health spending in the production of longevity.

Suggested Citation

  • Marie-Louise Leroux & Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthière, 2008. "Optimal linear taxation under endogenous longevity," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586241, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00586241
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00586241
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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.
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    3. Helmuth Cremer & Philippe De Donder & Darío Maldonado & Pierre Pestieau, 2012. "Taxing Sin Goods and Subsidizing Health Care," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(1), pages 101-123, March.
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    7. Broome, John, 2006. "Weighing Lives," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199297702.
    8. 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.
    9. Kaplan, G.A. & Seeman, T.E. & Cohen, R.D. & Knudsen, L.P. & Guralnik, J., 1987. "Mortality among the elderly in the Alameda County study: Behavioral and demographic risk factors," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 77(3), pages 307-312.
    10. EECKHOUDT, Louis & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 2007. "Fear of ruin and longevity enhancing investment," LIDAM Discussion Papers CORE 2007032, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marie-Louise Leroux & Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthière, 2008. "Should we subsidize longevity?," Working Papers halshs-00586236, HAL.
    2. Leroux, Marie-Louise & Ponthiere, Gregory, 2013. "Utilitarianism and unequal longevities: A remedy?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 888-899.
    3. Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2012. "The Public Economics of Increasing Longevity," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 200(1), pages 41-74, March.
    4. Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2014. "Policy Implications of Changing Longevity," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 60(1), pages 178-212.
    5. 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.
    6. Dávila, Julio & Leroux, Marie-Louise, 2015. "Efficiency in overlapping generations economies with longevity choices and fair annuities," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 363-383.
    7. FLEURBAEY, Marc & LEROUX, Marie - Louise & PONTHIERE, Gregory, 2010. "Compensating the dead? Yes we can!," LIDAM Discussion Papers CORE 2010066, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    8. Julio Davila & Marie-Louise Leroux, 2009. "On the fiscal treatment of life expectancy related choices," Post-Print halshs-00423933, HAL.
    9. Pierre PESTIEAU & Gregory PONTHIERE, 2016. "Longevity Variations and the Welfare State," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 82(2), pages 207-239, June.
    10. Chu-chuan Cheng & Hsun Chu, 2018. "Optimal policies for sin goods and health care: Tax or subsidy?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 25(2), pages 412-429, April.
    11. Fleurbaey, Marc & Leroux, Marie-Louise & Ponthiere, Gregory, 2014. "Compensating the dead," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 28-41.
    12. Carlotta Balestra & Davide Dottori, 2012. "Aging society, health and the environment," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(3), pages 1045-1076, July.
    13. Stelter, Robert, 2014. "Over-aging - Are present human populations too old?," VfS Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100334, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    14. Torben M. Andersen & Marias H. Gestsson, 2010. "Longevity, Growth and Intergenerational Equity - The Deterministic Case," Economics wp52, Department of Economics, Central bank of Iceland.
    15. Stelter, Robert, 2016. "Over-aging — Are present-day human populations too old?," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 116-143.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    longevity; myopia; genetic background; social security; paternalism; longévité; myopie; bagage génétique; sécurité sociale; paternalisme;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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