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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 = 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 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," Working Papers halshs-00586241, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00586241
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://shs.hal.science/halshs-00586241
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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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    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Torben Andersen & Joydeep Bhattacharya, 2011. "On myopia as rationale for social security," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 47(1), pages 135-158, May.
    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.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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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. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2014. "Policy Implications of Changing Longevity," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo Group, vol. 60(1), pages 178-212.
    5. 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).
    6. Pestieau, Pierre & Ponthiere, Gregory, 2016. "Longevity Variations And The Welfare State," Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 82(2), pages 207-239, June.
    7. 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.
    8. Fleurbaey, Marc & Leroux, Marie-Louise & Ponthiere, Gregory, 2014. "Compensating the dead," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 28-41.
    9. 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.
    10. Leroux, Marie-Louise & Ponthiere, Gregory, 2013. "Utilitarianism and unequal longevities: A remedy?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 888-899.
    11. Stelter, Robert, 2014. "Over-aging: Are present human populations too old?," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 137, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
    12. 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.
    13. repec:hal:pseose:hal-00813211 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. 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.
    15. repec:hal:pseose:halshs-01053594 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. repec:hal:pseose:hal-00813226 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Torben M. Andersen & Marias H. Gestsson, 2010. "Longevity, Growth and Intergenerational Equity - The Deterministic Case," Economics wp52, Department of Economics, Central bank of Iceland.
    18. repec:hal:pseose:halshs-01053598 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. 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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