An Economist's View of Healthy Longevity

Robin Hanson at Overcoming Bias notes that the prospects for healthy life extension have "sparked many debates, conferences etc. over the last few years. The invited participants have naturally been intellectuals who have published on the topic recently, mainly activists and bioethicists. We economists have not published on this topic, and so have not been included. But this is not because we have nothing to say. Instead, no economist has anything special to say. We can all easily see that standard economic theory seems to say longer healthy lives are a good thing. So none of us thinks any of us should get precious academic publication credit for saying such an obvious thing. As a result, life extension debates ignore economic theory. ... it still seems to me a shame that observers of this debate can remain unaware of what standard economic theory seems to say on this subject."



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