December 09, 2009

A long and productive life

Golden apple fountainThis is why life extension is not just a moral thing to do, but also macroeconomically sensible: Long-term economic growth stimulus of human capital preservation in the elderly - a new paper in PNAS.

While they are most interested in the US health care system (seems to be something in the air :-) the real importance is the understanding that preserving human capital is worth a lot. Numbers like 4,057 billion dollars by 2028, for example. And they are not assuming any radical life extension, just a bit better health increasing the labour pool.

Once politicians in Europe seriously realize what working anti-ageing treatments could do there is a real risk that we will see hype and funding bloat. After all, slowing ageing is almost exactly what the EU needs (and immigrants[*], of course).

[ * Economy fact for today: worldwide remittances 2006 were $250-401 billion. Development aid was about $100 billion. So remittances are 2.5 to 4 times as large - and directly targeted at the people who need the money the most. ]

Posted by Anders3 at December 9, 2009 04:16 PM