While progress in longevity has had a crucial impact on long-term economic development, it has also had a dramatic impact on society’s “prosperity”, which consists of the aggregation of income and longevity expressed in a monetized way in order to reflect people’s preferences and willingness-to-pay for better health. Defined as such, this measure captures both the quantity of life (i.e., longevity) and the quality of life (as proxied by income). Importantly, it is shown that progress in longevity explains half of the growth of prosperity at the global level over the last two centuries. However, the contribution of health to prosperity is projected to decline significantly over the next decades due to the slowdown of the growth of longevity assumed in United Nations statistics.


Life Satisfaction Shadow Price Equivalent Income United Nations Statistic Global Income 
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© Fabrice Murtin 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabrice Murtin
    • 1
  1. 1.Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)France

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