IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/14157.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Value of Life in General Equilibrium

Author

Listed:
  • Anupam Jena
  • Casey Mulligan
  • Tomas J. Philipson
  • Eric Sun

Abstract

Perhaps the most important change of the last century was the great expansion of life itself -- in the US alone, life expectancy increased from 48 to 78 years. Recent economic estimates confirm this claim, finding that the economic value of the gain in longevity was on par with the value of growth in material well-being, as measured by income per capita. However, ever since Malthus, economists have recognized that demographic changes are linked to economic behavior and vice versa. Put simply, living with others who live 78 years is different than living with others who live only 48 years, so that valuing the extra 30 years of life is not simply a matter of valuing the extra years a single individual lives. The magnitude by which such valuations differ is overstated when there are increasing returns to population and is understated under decreasing returns. Focusing on the gains in life expectancy in the United States from 1900 to 2000, we find that a significant part of the value of longer life may be affected by these general equilibrium demographic effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Anupam Jena & Casey Mulligan & Tomas J. Philipson & Eric Sun, 2008. "The Value of Life in General Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 14157, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14157
    Note: HC HE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w14157.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
    2. Cutler, David M & Richardson, Elizabeth, 1998. "The Value of Health: 1970-1990," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 97-100, May.
    3. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 1991. "Estimating the Payoff to Schooling Using the Vietnam-era Draft Lottery," Working Papers 670, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    4. 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.
    5. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2007. "Disease and Development: The Effect of Life Expectancy on Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(6), pages 925-985, December.
    6. Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Growth: With or Without Scale Effects?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 139-144, May.
    7. Jeffrey I. Bernstein & M. Ishaq Nadiri, 1989. "Research and Development and Intra-industry Spillovers: An Empirical Application of Dynamic Duality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 249-267.
    8. Dan Usher, 1973. "The Measurement of Economic Growth," Working Paper 145, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    9. Bloom, David E & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 1998. "Demographic Transitions and Economic Miracles in Emerging Asia," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 12(3), pages 419-455, September.
    10. Edwin Mansfield & John Rapoport & Anthony Romeo & Samuel Wagner & George Beardsley, 1977. "Social and Private Rates of Return from Industrial Innovations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 91(2), pages 221-240.
    11. Bloom, David E. & Malaney, Pia N., 1998. "Macroeconomic consequences of the Russian mortality crisis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(11), pages 2073-2085, November.
    12. Ronald D Lee & Andrew Mason & Tim Miller, 1998. "Saving, Wealth, and Population," Working Papers 199805, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    13. Rosen, Sherwin, 1988. "The Value of Changes in Life Expectancy," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 285-304, September.
    14. Bernstein, Jeffrey I. & Nadiri, M. Ishaq, 1990. "Product Demand, Cost Of Production, Spillovers And The Social Rate Or Return To R&D," Working Papers 90-53, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    15. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua Linn, 2004. "Market Size in Innovation: Theory and Evidence from the Pharmaceutical Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 1049-1090.
    16. Seema Jayachandran & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2009. "Life Expectancy and Human Capital Investments: Evidence from Maternal Mortality Declines," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(1), pages 349-397.
    17. Bernstein, Jeffrey I & Nadiri, M Ishaq, 1988. "Interindustry R&D Spillovers, Rates of Return, and Production in High-Tech Industries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 429-434, May.
    18. Pierre-Yves Geoffard & Tomas Philipson, 2002. "Pricing and R&D When Consumption Affects Longevity," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(1), pages 85-95, Spring.
    19. Dan Usher, 1973. "An Imputation to the Measure of Economic Growth for Changes in Life Expectancy," NBER Chapters, in: The Measurement of Economic and Social Performance, pages 193-232, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Peter J. Klenow & Mark Bils, 2000. "Does Schooling Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1160-1183, December.
    21. Hoyt Bleakley, 2007. "Disease and Development: Evidence from Hookworm Eradication in the American South," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 73-117.
    22. Margo, Robert A, 1986. "Race and Human Capital: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1221-1224, December.
    23. Milton Moss, 1973. "The Measurement of Economic and Social Performance," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number moss73-1, December.
    24. Paul M. Romer, 1994. "The Origins of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 3-22, Winter.
    25. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Andr'es Riquelme & Marcela Parada, 2016. "The Value of A Statistical Life in Absence of Panel Data: What can we do?," Papers 1603.00568, arXiv.org.
    2. Moshe Hazan, 2009. "Longevity and Lifetime Labor Supply: Evidence and Implications," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(6), pages 1829-1863, November.
    3. Eszter Czibor & David Jimenez‐Gomez & John A. List, 2019. "The Dozen Things Experimental Economists Should Do (More of)," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 86(2), pages 371-432, October.
    4. Thomas J. Kniesner & W. Kip Viscusi & Christopher Woock & James P. Ziliak, 2012. "The Value of a Statistical Life: Evidence from Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 74-87, February.
    5. Hoyt Bleakley, 2009. "Comment on "When Does Improving Health Raise GDP?"," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2008, Volume 23, pages 205-220, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Mary Evans & V. Smith, 2010. "Measuring how risk tradeoffs adjust with income," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 33-55, February.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Husain, Muhammad Jami, 2010. "Contribution of health to economic development: A survey and overview," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal (2007-2020), Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel), vol. 4, pages 1-52.
    2. Oliver Fritz & Peter Mayerhofer & Reinhard Haller & Gerhard Streicher & Florian Bachner & Herwig Ostermann, 2013. "Die regionalwirtschaftlichen Effekte der österreichischen Krankenanstalten," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 46672, August.
    3. Schultz, T. Paul, 2010. "Population and Health Policies," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Dani Rodrik & Mark Rosenzweig (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 4785-4881, Elsevier.
    4. Bloom, David E. & Kuhn, Michael & Prettner, Klaus, 2018. "Health and Economic Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 11939, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Simon Wiederhold, 2012. "The Role of Public Procurement in Innovation: Theory and Empirical Evidence," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 43.
    6. Hüseyin Sen & Ayse Kaya & Baris Alpaslan, 2015. "Education, Health, and Economic Growth Nexus: A Bootstrap Panel Granger Causality Analysis for Developing Countries," Economics Discussion Paper Series 1502, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    7. G Cameron, 1996. "Innovation and Economic Growth," CEP Discussion Papers dp0277, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    8. Cohen, Daniel & Leker, Laura, 2014. "Health and Education: Another Look with the Proper Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 9940, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Cordoba, Juan Carlos & Ripoll, Marla, 2012. "Life, Death and World Inequality," Staff General Research Papers Archive 34945, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    10. Birchenall, Javier A. & Soares, Rodrigo R., 2009. "Altruism, fertility, and the value of children: Health policy evaluation and intergenerational welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 280-295, February.
    11. Mine Yilmazer & Serkan Çinar, 2015. "Human Capabilities and Economic Growth: A Comparative Human Capability Index," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 5(4), pages 843-853.
    12. Martine AUDIBERT & Pascale COMBES MOTEL & Alassane DRABO, 2010. "Global Burden of Disease and Economic Growth," Working Papers 201036, CERDI.
    13. Weil, David N., 2014. "Health and Economic Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 3, pages 623-682, Elsevier.
    14. Shaun M. Da Costa, 2020. "The impact of the Ebola crisis on mortality and welfare in Liberia," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(12), pages 1517-1532, December.
    15. Mark Rogers, 2003. "A Survey of Economic Growth," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 79(244), pages 112-135, March.
    16. Rodrigo R. Soares, 2003. "The Welfare Cost of Violence (New Version: Corrected Calculations)," Law and Economics 0312003, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 13 Sep 2004.
    17. Daniel Cerqueira & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2016. "The Welfare Cost of Homicides in Brazil: Accounting for Heterogeneity in the Willingness to Pay for Mortality Reductions," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(3), pages 259-276, March.
    18. Hüseyin ŞEN & Ayşe KAYA & Barış ALPASLAN, 2018. "Education, Health, and Economic Growth Nexus: A Bootstrap Panel Granger Causality Analysis for Developing Countries," Sosyoekonomi Journal, Sosyoekonomi Society, issue 26(36).
    19. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 2007. "The Value of Life and the Rise in Health Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 39-72.
    20. Robert W. Arnold, 2003. "Modeling Long-Run Economic Growth: Technical Paper 2003-04," Working Papers 14497, Congressional Budget Office.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14157. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.