IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/roswps/137.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Over-aging: Are present human populations too old?

Author

Listed:
  • Stelter, Robert

Abstract

This paper investigates the problem of an \optimum population" concerning age structures in a 3-period OLG-model with endogenous fertility and longevity. The first-best solution for a number-dampened total social welfare function, including Millian and Benthamite utilitarianism as two extreme cases, identifies the optimal age structure, generally failed in the laissez-faire economy. Individuals over-invest in health expenditures and choose a non-optimal number of offspring. A calibration exercise for 80 countries emphasizes that mean ages in the optimal solution with the highest feasible individual utility exceed the observed in all countries, especially due to a very low first-best number of children. Introducing a preference for the population stock in the social welfare function increases fertility, but reduces individual utility, in the first-best solution. Optimal mean age shrinks and an over-aging of the laissez-faire economy becomes more likely. To decentralize first-best solutions health expenditures are taxed, whereas children are either taxed or subsided.

Suggested Citation

  • Stelter, Robert, 2014. "Over-aging: Are present human populations too old?," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 137, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:roswps:137
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/102657/1/797947604.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. W. Brian Arthur & Geoffrey McNicoll, 1977. "Optimal Time Paths with Age-Dependence: A Theory of Population Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(1), pages 111-123.
    2. Blackorby,Charles & Bossert,Walter & Donaldson,David J., 2005. "Population Issues in Social Choice Theory, Welfare Economics, and Ethics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521532587, April.
    3. Wang, Mei & Rieger, Marc Oliver & Hens, Thorsten, 2011. "How Time Preferences Differ: Evidence from 45 Countries," Discussion Papers 2011/18, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    4. 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.
    5. Michael C.M. Leung & Yong Wang, 2010. "Endogenous Health Care, Life Expectancy And Economic Growth," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 11-31, February.
    6. David Croix & Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthière, 2012. "How powerful is demography? The Serendipity Theorem revisited," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(3), pages 899-922, July.
    7. Matthias Doepke, 2004. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 347-383, September.
    8. Klaus Jaeger & Wolfgang Kuhle, 2009. "The optimum growth rate for population reconsidered," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 22(1), pages 23-41, January.
    9. Shell, Karl, 1971. "Notes on the Economics of Infinity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(5), pages 1002-1011, Sept.-Oct.
    10. Nehru, Vikram & Swanson, Eric & Dubey, Ashutosh, 1993. "A new database on human capital stock : sources, methodology and results," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1124, The World Bank.
    11. David N. Weil, 2006. "Population Aging," NBER Working Papers 12147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Bas Groezen & Lex Meijdam, 2008. "Growing old and staying young: population policy in an ageing closed economy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(3), pages 573-588, July.
    13. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467-467.
    14. Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005. "Mortality Reductions, Educational Attainment, and Fertility Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 580-601, June.
    15. Bental, Benjamin, 1989. "The Old Age Security Hypothesis and Optimal Population Growth," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 1(4), pages 285-301.
    16. Thomas Baudin, 2011. "Family Policies: What Does the Standard Endogenous Fertility Model Tell Us?," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 13(4), pages 555-593, August.
    17. Kuhn, Michael & Wrzaczek, Stefan & Prskawetz, Alexia & Feichtinger, Gustav, 2011. "Externalities in a life cycle model with endogenous survival," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(4-5), pages 627-641.
    18. Schoonbroodt, Alice & Tertilt, Michèle, 2014. "Property rights and efficiency in OLG models with endogenous fertility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 551-582.
    19. Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Holger Strulik, 2014. "Optimal Aging And Death: Understanding The Preston Curve," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 672-701, June.
    20. Cigno, Alessandro, 1993. "Intergenerational transfers without altruism : Family, market and state," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 505-518, November.
    21. Galor, Oded & Weil, David N, 1996. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 374-387, June.
    22. 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.
    23. Marie-Louise Leroux & Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2011. "Optimal linear taxation under endogenous longevity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(1), pages 213-237, January.
    24. Chakraborty, Shankha, 2004. "Endogenous lifetime and economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 119-137, May.
    25. Antoine Bommier, 2006. "Uncertain Lifetime And Intertemporal Choice: Risk Aversion As A Rationale For Time Discounting," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1223-1246, November.
    26. Bloom, David E. & Canning, David & Sevilla, Jaypee, 2004. "The Effect of Health on Economic Growth: A Production Function Approach," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 1-13, January.
    27. Raouf Boucekkine & Giorgio Fabbri, 2013. "Assessing Parfit’s Repugnant Conclusion within a canonical endogenous growth set-up," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(2), pages 751-767, April.
    28. Deardorff, Alan V, 1976. "The Optimum Growth Rate for Population: Comment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 17(2), pages 510-515, June.
    29. Nourry, Carine, 2001. "Stability of equilibria in the overlapping generations model with endogenous labor supply," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(10), pages 1647-1663, October.
    30. Eckstein, Zvi & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 1985. "Endogenous fertility and optimal population size," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 93-106, June.
    31. Razin, Assaf & Ben-Zion, Uri, 1975. "An Intergenerational Model of Population Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(5), pages 923-933, December.
    32. Antoine Bommier & Ronald D. Lee, 2003. "Overlapping generations models with realistic demography," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 16(1), pages 135-160, February.
    33. David de la Croix & Matthias Doepke, 2003. "Inequality and Growth: Why Differential Fertility Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1091-1113, September.
    34. de la Croix,David & Michel,Philippe, 2002. "A Theory of Economic Growth," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521001151, April.
    35. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
    36. Davies, James B. & Kuhn, Peter, 1992. "Social security, longevity, and moral hazard," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 91-106, October.
    37. 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.
    38. Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, 1988. "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(1), pages 1-25.
    39. Ng, Yew-Kwang, 1986. "Social criteria for evaluating population change: An alternative to the Blackorby-Donaldson criterion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 375-381, April.
    40. P. S. Dasgupta, 1969. "On the Concept of Optimum Population," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(3), pages 295-318.
    41. Marc Nerlove & Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka, 1985. "Population Size: Individual Choice and Social Optima," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(2), pages 321-334.
    42. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1984. "Social criteria for evaluating population change," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 13-33, November.
    43. Heijdra, Ben J. & Mierau, Jochen O. & Reijnders, S. M., 2014. "A Tragedy Of Annuitization? Longevity Insurance In General Equilibrium," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(07), pages 1607-1634, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    endogenous fertility; adult mortality; optimal age structure; over-aging; optimal taxation;

    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy

    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:zbw:roswps:137. 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: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/ivrosde.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 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.

    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.