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A Dynamic Efficiency Rationale for Public Investment in the Health of the Young

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  • Andersen, Torben M
  • Bhattacharya, Joydeep

Abstract

In this paper, we assume away standard distributional and static-efficiency arguments for public health, and instead, seek a dynamic efficiency rationale. We study a lifecycle model wherein young agents make health investments to reduce mortality risk. We identify a welfare rationale for public health under dynamic efficiency and exogenous mortalityeven when private and public investments are perfect substitutes. If health investment reduces mortality risk but individuals do not internalize its effect on the life-annuity interest rate, the Philipson-Becker effect emerges; when the young are net borrowers, it works together with dynamic efficiency to support a role for public health.

Suggested Citation

  • Andersen, Torben M & Bhattacharya, Joydeep, 2012. "A Dynamic Efficiency Rationale for Public Investment in the Health of the Young," Staff General Research Papers Archive 35503, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:35503
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    File URL: http://www2.econ.iastate.edu/papers/p15503-2012-09-24.pdf
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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.
    2. Jie Zhang & Junsen Zhang & Michael Leung, 2006. "Health investment, saving, and public policy," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(1), pages 68-93, February.
    3. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-255, March-Apr.
    4. Maik T. Schneider & Ralph Winkler, 2010. "Growth and Welfare under Endogenous Lifetime," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 10/137, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    5. Antonio Rangel, 2003. "Forward and Backward Intergenerational Goods: Why Is Social Security Good for the Environment?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 813-834, June.
    6. Davies, James B. & Kuhn, Peter, 1992. "Social security, longevity, and moral hazard," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 91-106, October.
    7. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1989. "Lectures on Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262022834, January.
    8. Johansson, Per-Olov, 2000. "Properties of actuarially fair and pay-as-you-go health insurance schemes for the elderly. An OLG model approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 477-498, July.
    9. Momota, Akira & Tabata, Ken & Futagami, Koichi, 2005. "Infectious disease and preventive behavior in an overlapping generations model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(10), pages 1673-1700, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Torben Andersen & Mikkel Hermansen, 2014. "Durable consumption, saving and retirement," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(3), pages 825-840, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    public health; moral hazard; overlapping generations; mortality risk;

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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