The Value of Health and Longevity
We develop an economic framework for valuing improvements to health and life expectancy, based on individuals' willingness to pay. We then apply the framework to past and prospective reductions in mortality risks, both overall and for specific life-threatening diseases. We calculate (i) the social values of increased longevity for men and women over the 20th century; (ii) the social value of progress against various diseases after 1970; and (iii) the social value of potential future progress against various major categories of disease. The historical gains from increased longevity have been enormous. Over the 20th century, cumulative gains in life expectancy were worth over $1.2 million per person for both men and women. Between 1970 and 2000 increased longevity added about $3.2 trillion per year to national wealth, an uncounted value equal to about half of average annual GDP over the period. Reduced mortality from heart disease alone has increased the value of life by about $1.5 trillion per year since 1970. The potential gains from future innovations in health care are also extremely large. Even a modest 1 percent reduction in cancer mortality would be worth nearly $500 billion.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2005|
|Publication status:||published as Murphy, Kevin M. and Robert H. Topel. "The Value Of Health And Longevity," Journal of Political Economy, 2006, v114 (No. 5, Oct), 871-904.|
|Note:||EFG HC LS|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ehrlich, Isaac & Chuma, Hiroyuki, 1990. "A Model of the Demand for Longevity and the Value of Life Extension," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 761-782, August.
- Robert E. Hall, 1981.
"Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption,"
NBER Working Papers
0720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley, 2000.
"The Life Cycle Model of Consumption and Saving,"
Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers
28, McMaster University.
- repec:reg:rpubli:282 is not listed on IDEAS
- Martin Browning & Lars Peter Hansen & James J. Heckman, 1999.
"Micro Data and General Equilibrium Models,"
99-10, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
- Robert H. Topel & Finis Welch, 1986.
"Efficient Labor Contracts with Employment Risk,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(4), pages 490-507, Winter.
- Viscusi, W Kip & Aldy, Joseph E, 2003.
"The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World,"
Journal of Risk and Uncertainty,
Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 5-76, August.
- W. Kip Viscusi & Joseph E. Aldy, 2003. "The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," NBER Working Papers 9487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gary S. Becker & Casey B. Mulligan, 1997. "The Endogenous Determination of Time Preference," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 729-758.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11405. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.