Longer Life, Higher Welfare?
Michael Grimm and
No 556, Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin from DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research
Whereas life expectancy continues to increase in most industrialized countries many developing and transition countries are today confronted with decreases in life expectancy. Usual measures employed to compare welfare over time and space fail to deal with such demographic change and may lead to the so-called 'repugnant' conclusion that lower life expectancy involves higher welfare per capita. We illustrate this type of transmission channel using various welfare criteria and reference populations. We also consider feed-back effects from the demography on the economy using a neo-classical growth model. We show that the 'repugnant' conclusion can be avoided if we choose a lifetime welfare measure instead of a period (or snapshot) welfare measure. All concepts are illustrated empirically using a small sample of developed and developing countries.
Keywords: Life expectancy; Repugnant conclusion; Welfare comparisons (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D63 I31 J11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea and nep-ltv
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Journal Article: Longer life, higher welfare? (2008)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp556
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