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A Closer Look at the Relationship Between Life Expectancy and Economic Growth

  • Azomahou, Théophile



  • Boucekkine, Raouf


    (CORE, Universite Catholique de Louvain)

  • Diene, Bity


    (BETA, Universite Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg)

We first provide a nonparametric inference of the relationship between life expectancy and economic growth on an historical data for 18 countries over the period 1820-2005. The obtained shape shows up convexity for low enough values of life expectancy and concavity for large enough values. We then study this relationship on a benchmark model combining perpetual youth" and learning-by-investing. In such a benchmark, the generated relationship between life expectancy and economic growth is shown to be strictly increasing and concave. We finally examine two models departing from perpetual youth" by assuming successively age-dependent earnings and age-dependent survival probabilities. With age-dependent earnings, the obtained relationship is hump-shaped while agedependent survival laws do reproduce the convex-concave shape detected in the prior empirical study.

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Paper provided by United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) in its series MERIT Working Papers with number 027.

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Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2008027
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  1. Raouf Boucekkine & David de la Croix & Dominique Peeters, 2004. "Early Literacy Achievements, Population Density and the Transition to Modern Growth," 2004 Meeting Papers 426, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Shankha Chakraborty, 2002. "Endogenous Lifetime and Economic Growth," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2002-03, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 26 Jan 2002.
  3. Raouf, BOUCEKKINE & David de la Croix & Omar Lidandro, 2004. "Modelling vintage structures with DDEs : principles and applications," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2004004, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  4. Deaton,Angus & Muellbauer,John, 1980. "Economics and Consumer Behavior," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521296762, October.
  5. Hamid Faruqee, 2002. "Debt, Deficits, and Age-Specific Mortality," IMF Working Papers 02/19, International Monetary Fund.
  6. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:9:y:2004:i:3:p:1-10 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Raouf BOUCEKKINE & David de la Croix & Omar LICANDRO, 2002. "Early mortality declines at the dawn of modern growth," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2002014, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  8. Brander, James A & Dowrick, Steve, 1994. "The Role of Fertility and Population in Economic Growth: Empirical Results from Aggregate Cross-National Data," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 1-25.
  9. repec:fda:fdaddt:2004-07 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Cruz A. Echevarría, 2004. "Life Expectancy, Schooling Time, Retirement, and Growth," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(4), pages 602-617, October.
  11. Steven A. Symansky & Douglas Laxton & Hamid Faruqee, 1996. "Government Debt, Life-Cycle Income and Liquidity Constrains: Beyond Approximate Ricardian Equivalence," IMF Working Papers 96/140, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  13. Bhargava, Alok & Jamison, Dean T. & Lau, Lawrence J. & Murray, Christopher J. L., 2001. "Modeling the effects of health on economic growth," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 423-440, May.
  14. repec:fda:fdaddt:2000-02 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. repec:cor:louvrp:-1758 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 1988. "Consumption and Capital Market Imperfection: An International Comparison," CEPR Discussion Papers 244, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Kelley, Allen C. & Schmidt, Robert M., 1995. "Aggregate Population and Economic Growth Correlations: The Role of the Components of Demographic Change," Working Papers 95-37, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  18. Boucekkine, Raouf & de la Croix, David & Licandro, Omar, 2000. "Vintage Human Capital, Demographic Trends and Endogenous Growth," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2000007, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  19. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem & Ryder, Harl E. & Weil, David N., 2000. "Mortality decline, human capital investment, and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 1-23, June.
  20. Rosa Aísa & Fernando Pueyo, 2004. "Endogenous longevity, health and economic growth: a slow growth for a longer life?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 9(3), pages 1-10.
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