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Life expectancy, labor supply, and long-run growth: Reconciling theory and evidence

Holger Strulik () and Katharina Werner ()

No 141, Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers from University of Goettingen, Department of Economics

Abstract: We set up a simple overlapping generation model that allows us to distinguish between life expectancy and active life expectancy. We show that individuals optimally adjust to a longer active life by educating more and, if the labor supply elasticity is high enough, by supplying less labor. When calibrated to US data the model explains the historical evolution of increasing education and declining labor supply (of cohorts born 1850-1950) as an optimal response to increasing active life expectancy. We integrate the theory into a unified growth model and reestablish increasing life expectancy as an engine of long-run economic development.

Keywords: longevity; active life expectancy; education; hours worked; economic growth. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E20 I25 J22 O10 O40 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/70224/1/726201103.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Life Expectancy, Labor Supply, and Long-Run Growth: Reconciling Theory and Evidence (2012) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:zbw:cegedp:141

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