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On the Relationship between Longevity and Development

Raouf Boucekkine, Bity Diene, Théophile Azomahou


We study the relationship between economic growth and longevity in a model with a realistic demographic structure and with endogenous growth. In contrast to the early contributions in the field, the engine of growth is physical capital accumulation. The results extracted from the analysis of steady state growth paths, tend to show that despite the decreasing pattern of savings over lifetime, a larger life expectancy is always associated with a rising economic growth. This is disappointing regarding the related empirical literature. Nonetheless, we have also shown that though the growth rate is a monotonic function of life expectancy, its first-order derivative is non-monotonic, reflecting the growth enhancing effect of longevity at low levels of development and longevity.

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