Ageing, Health, and Productivity: The Economics of Increased Life Expectancy

ISBN : 9780199587131

Pietro Garibaldi; Joaquim Oliveira-Martins; Jan Van Ours
280 ページ
172 x 241 mm

Increase in life expectancy is arguably the most remarkable by-product of modern economic growth. In the last 30 years we have gained roughly 2.5 years of longevity every decade, both in Europe and the United States. Successfully managing ageing and longevity over the next twenty years is one of the major structural challenges faced by policy makers in advanced economies, particularly in health spending, social security administration, and labour market institutions. This book looks closely into those challenges and identifies the fundamental issues at both the macroeconomic and microeconomic level. The first half of the book studies the macroeconomic relationships between health spending, technological progress in medical related sectors, economic growth, and welfare state reforms. In the popular press, longevity and population ageing are typically perceived as a tremendous burden. However, with a proper set of reforms, advanced economies have the option of transforming the enormous challenge posed by longevity into a long term opportunity to boost aggregate outcomes. The basic prerequisite of a healthy ageing scenario is a substantial structural reform in social security and in labour market institutions. The second part of the book looks closely into the microeconomic relationship between population ageing and productivity, both at the individual and at the firm level. There is surprisingly little research on such key questions. The book contributes to this debate in two ways. It presents a detailed analysis of the determinants of productivity, with a focus on both the long-run historical evolution and the cross sectional changes. It also uses econometric analysis to look into the determinants of the various dimensions of individual productivity. The volume concludes that the complex relationship between population ageing and longevity is not written in stone, and can be modified by properly designed choices.


1. Transitory vs. Permanent Demographic Shocks: From Ageing to Longevity
2. The Growth of Health Expenditure: Ageing vs. Technological Progress
3. Preferences Towards Health Care: Is Health a Luxury Good?
4. Integrating the Different Drivers: Projections of Total Health Expenditure 2025-2050
5. The Impact of Health on Productivity and Growth
6. Summary and Policy Discussion
Annex I: Specification of the Utility Function and the Income Elasticity
Annex II: Data Sources and Methods of Health Expenditure Projections
Comments by Axel Boersch-Supan and Vincenzo Galasso
7. Introduction - Setting the Stage
8. The Grand View on Age and Productivity
9. Age and Absenteeism
10. Age and Working Capacity
11. Age and Productivity: An Analysis at the Plant and the Team Level
12. Conclusions and Policy Implications
Comments by Enrico Moretti and Etienne Wasmer


Pietro Garibaldi is Professor of Economics at the University of Torino, and Director and Fellow of the Collegio Carlo Alberto. He is also head of Labour Studies at the Fondazione DeBenedetti, and research fellow at IGIER (Milan), CEPR (London), and IZA (Bonn). He is a supervisory board and audit committee member of Intesa SanPaolo. He is one of the founding and current editors of www.lavoce.info. Between 2004 and 2005 he was the Economic Counsellor of the Italian Ministry of Finance. He was previously an economist in the IMF Research Department and an Associate Professor of Economics at Bocconi University. He holds a PhD in Economics from LSE. His main research interests are in the macroeconomics of the labour market, with particular emphasis on labour force participation and the role of institutions. He has published in leading journals including the Review of Economic Studies and the Journal of the European Economics Association and he is author and editor of several books published by OUP.; Joaquim Oliveira Martins is Head of the Structural Economic Statistics Division at the OECD. He was previously Senior Economist at the Economics Department heading projects on the Economics of Education, Ageing and Growth, and Health Systems. He was also Head of Desk for emerging markets (Brazil, Chile) and several transition countries. Other OECD projects include monographs on Competition, Regulation and Performance, and Policy Response to the Threat of Global Warming. He is lecturer at University of Paris-Dauphine and Sciences Po, Paris. He holds a PhD in Economics from University of Paris-I, Pantheon-Sorbonne. ; Jan van Ours is Professor in Labour Economics at the Department of Economics, Tilburg University and professorial fellow at the Department of Economics, University of Melbourne. His research focuses on unemployment dynamics, labour market policies and labour market institutions, and dynamics in use of illicit drugs. He studied economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam, where he also got his PhD. In 1996 he was awarded with the Hicks-Tinbergen medal of the European Economic Association. He has published in American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Review of Economic Studies, Journal of Labor Economics, Economic Journal, Journal of Public Economics and Journal of Health Economics. Currently, he is research fellow of CentER, CEPR, CESifo and IZA and he is one of the managing editors of Economic Policy.