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Growth and Welfare Effects of Health Care in Knowledge Based Economies

  • Kuhn, Michael
  • Prettner, Klaus

We study the effects of a labor-intensive health care sector within an R&D-driven growth model with overlapping generations. Health care increases longevity and labor participation/productivity. We examine under which conditions expanding health care enhances growth and welfare. Even if the provision of health care diverts labor from productive activities, it may still fuel R&D and economic growth if the additional wealth that comes with expanding longevity translates into a more capital/machine-intensive final goods production and, thereby, raises the return to developing new machines. We establish mild conditions under which an expansion of health care beyond the growth-maximizing level is Pareto-improving.

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Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association in its series Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order with number 79970.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc13:79970
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