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Education Choices, Longevity and Optimal Policy in a Ben-Porath Economy

Author

Listed:
  • Yukihiro Nishimura

    (Osaka University [Osaka])

  • Pierre Pestieau

    (CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR, CORE - Center of Operation Research and Econometrics [Louvain] - UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)

  • Grégory Ponthière

    (ERUDITE - Equipe de Recherche sur l’Utilisation des Données Individuelles en lien avec la Théorie Economique - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - UPEC UP12 - Université Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne - Paris 12, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)

Abstract

We develop a 3-period overlapping generations (OLG) model where individuals borrow at the young age to finance their education. Education does not only increase future wages, but, also, raises the duration of life, which, in turn, affects education choices, in line with Ben Porath (1967). We first identify conditions that guarantee the existence of a stationary equilibrium with perfect foresight. Then, we reexamine the conditions under which the Ben-Porath effect prevails, and emphasize the impact of human capital decay and preferences. We compare the laissez-faire with the social optimum, and show that the latter can be decentralized provided the laissez-faire capital stock corresponds to the one satisfying the modified Golden Rule. Finally, we introduce intracohort heterogeneity in the learning ability, and we show that, under asymmetric information, the second-best optimal non-linear tax scheme involves a downward distortion in the level of education of less able types, which, quite paradoxically, would reinforce the longevity gap in comparison with the laissez-faire.

Suggested Citation

  • Yukihiro Nishimura & Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthière, 2015. "Education Choices, Longevity and Optimal Policy in a Ben-Porath Economy," PSE Working Papers halshs-01230932, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-01230932
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01230932
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dedry, Antoine & Onder, Harun & Pestieau, Pierre, 2017. "Aging, social security design, and capital accumulation," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 9(C), pages 145-155.

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    Keywords

    Education; Life expectancy; OLG models; Optimal policy;

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