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Inequalities in Life Expectancy and the Global Welfare Convergence

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  • Hippolyte d'Albis

    () (PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - 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)

  • Florian Bonnet

    (UP1 UFR02 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - UFR d'Économie - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, PSE - Paris School of Economics)

Abstract

Becker, Philipson and Soares (2005) maintain that including life expectancy gains in a welfare indicator result in a reduction of inequality between 1960 and 2000 twice as great as when measured by per capita income. We discuss their methodology and show it determines the convergence result. We use an alternative methodology, based on Fleurbaey and Gaulier (2009), which monetizes differences in life expectancy between countries at each date rather than life expectancy gains. We show that including life expectancy has no effect on the evolution of world inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Hippolyte d'Albis & Florian Bonnet, 2018. "Inequalities in Life Expectancy and the Global Welfare Convergence," Working Papers halshs-01707748, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-01707748
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01707748
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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.
    2. Charles I. Jones & Peter J. Klenow, 2016. "Beyond GDP? Welfare across Countries and Time," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(9), pages 2426-2457, September.
    3. Marc Fleurbaey & Guillaume Gaulier, 2009. "International Comparisons of Living Standards by Equivalent Incomes," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(3), pages 597-624, September.
    4. Menahem E. Yaari, 1965. "Uncertain Lifetime, Life Insurance, and the Theory of the Consumer," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(2), pages 137-150.
    5. Barro, Robert J & Friedman, James W, 1977. "On Uncertain Lifetimes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(4), pages 843-849, August.
    6. Hippolyte d'Albis & Loesse Jacques Esso & Héctor Pifarré I Arolas, 2014. "Persistent Differences in Mortality Patterns across Industrialized Countries," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01061000, HAL.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    World inequality; Well-being indicators; Life expectancy;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

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