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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. Hamid Faruqee, 2003. "Debt, Deficits, and Age-specific Mortality," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(2), pages 300-312, April.
  2. 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.
  3. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
  4. Hamid Faruqee & Douglas Laxton & Steven Symansky, 1997. "Government Debt, Life-Cycle Income, and Liquidity Constraints: Beyond Approximate Ricardian Equivalence," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(3), pages 374-382, September.
  5. Boucekkine, Raouf & de la Croix, David & Licandro, Omar, 2002. "Vintage Human Capital, Demographic Trends, and Endogenous Growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 340-375, June.
  6. Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 1989. "Consumption and Capital Market Imperfections: An International Comparison," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1088-1105, December.
  7. Raouf Boucekkine & David De La Croix & Omar Licandro, 2004. "MODELLING VINTAGE STRUCTURES WITH DDEs: PRINCIPLES AND APPLICATIONS," Mathematical Population Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(3-4), pages 151-179.
  8. 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.
  9. James A. Brander & Steve Dowrick, 1993. "The Role of Fertility and Population in Economic Growth: Empirical ResultsFrom Aggregate Cross-National Data," NBER Working Papers 4270, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. 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.
  12. Raouf Boucekkine & David de la Croix & Omar Licandro, 2003. "Early Mortality Declines at the Dawn of Modern Growth," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(3), pages 401-418, 09.
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  16. Chakraborty, Shankha, 2004. "Endogenous lifetime and economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 119-137, May.
  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.
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  20. 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.
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