Compensating the dead

Marc Fleurbaey, Marie Louise Leroux, Gregory Ponthiere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


An early death is, undoubtedly, a serious disadvantage. However, the compensation of short-lived individuals has remained so far largely unexplored, probably because it appears infeasible. Indeed, short-lived agents can hardly be identified ex ante, and cannot be compensated ex post. We argue that, despite those difficulties, a compensation can be carried out by encouraging early consumption in the life cycle. In a model with heterogeneous preferences and longevities, we show how a specific social criterion can be derived from intuitive principles, and we study the corresponding optimal policy under various informational assumptions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-41
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Mathematical Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Compensation
  • Fairness
  • Longevity
  • Mortality
  • Redistribution


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