Growth and Welfare under Endogenous Lifetime
Bath Economics Research Papers No. 47/16
71 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2010 Last revised: 7 Mar 2016
Date Written: February 2016
We study the role of endogenous healthcare choices by households to extend their expected lifetimes on economic growth and welfare in a decentralized overlapping generations economy with the realistic feature that households' savings are held in annuities. We characterize healthcare spending in the decentralized market equilibrium and its effects on economic growth. We then identify the moral-hazard effect in healthcare investments when annuity rates are conditioned on average mortality and explain the conditions under which it will lead to over-investment in healthcare. Moreover, we specify the general equilibrium effects and macroeconomic repercussions associated with this moral-hazard effect. Calibrating our model to OECD data, we find that the moral-hazard effect may be substantial and implies sizeable welfare losses of approximately 1.5%. At a more general level, our study suggests that welfare improvements from longevity increases may be quite lower than sometimes assumed when considered in planner economies.
Keywords: annuities, economic growth, endogenous longevity, healthcare expenditures, healthcare technology, moral hazard, pension systems, welfare analysis
JEL Classification: O40, I10, J10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation