Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics

Editor-in-Chief: Cavalcanti, Tiago / Kambourov, Gueorgui

Ed. by Abraham, Arpad / Carceles-Poveda , Eva / Debortoli, Davide / Lambertini, Luisa / Nimark, Kristoffer / Schwartzman, Felipe / Wang, Pengfei

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.378
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.462

CiteScore 2017: 0.62

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.553
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.605

See all formats and pricing
More options …

The Cost of Cyclical Mortality

Ryan D Edwards
Published Online: 2009-03-03 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1935-1690.1729

Sustained growth in both incomes and life spans are the hallmarks of modern development. Fluctuations around trend in the former, or business cycles, have been a traditional focus in macroeconomics, while similar cyclical patterns in mortality are also interesting and are now increasingly studied. In this paper, I assess the welfare implications of cyclical fluctuations in mortality using a new utility-theoretic model of preferences over uncertain length of life. Echoing the classic result of Lucas (1987) regarding business cycles, my findings suggest that short-term fluctuations in mortality are not very costly. While consumption fluctuations are relatively large, cyclical fluctuations in mortality are tiny compared to the much larger static uncertainty in length of life that derives from naturally rising mortality rates through age. Secular improvements in life expectancy and gains against static health inequalities appear to be much more important than cyclical mortality.

Keywords: health inequality; uncertainty; population health; business cycles; mortality

About the article

Published Online: 2009-03-03

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, Volume 9, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1935-1690, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1935-1690.1729.

Export Citation

©2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Shripad Tuljapurkar and Ryan D. Edwards
Demographic Research, 2011, Volume 24, Page 497

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in