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The Meaning of Death: Some Simulations of a Model of Healthy and Unhealthy Consumption

Forster, M. (2001) The Meaning of Death: Some Simulations of a Model of Healthy and Unhealthy Consumption. Journal of Health Economics, 20 (4). pp. 613-638. ISSN 0167-6296

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Abstract

Simulations of a model of healthy and unhealthy consumption are used to investigate the impact of various terminal conditions on life-span, pathways of health-related consumption and health. A model in which life-span and the ‘death’ stock of health are fixed is compared to versions in which (i) the ‘death’ stock of health is freely chosen; (ii) life-span is freely chosen; (iii) both the ‘death’ stock of health and life-span are freely chosen. The choice of terminal conditions has a striking impact on optimal plans. Results are discussed with reference to the existing demand for health literature and illustrate the application of iterative processes to determine optimal life-span, the role played by the marginal value of health capital in determining optimal plans, and the importance of checking the second-order conditions for the optimal choice of life-span.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: The demand for health; Optimal life-span; Healthy and unhealthy consumption; Terminal and transversality conditions
Academic Units: The University of York > Economics and Related Studies (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2009 13:08
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2009 13:08
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0167-6296(01)00080-7
Status: Published
Publisher: Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam.
Identification Number: 10.1016/S0167-6296(01)00080-7
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6677

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