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Évolutions démographiques et marché du travail : des liens complexes parfois contradictoires

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  • Jean-Louis Guérin
  • Julien Genet
  • Loïc Cadiou
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    Abstract

    [fre] Évolutions démographiques et marché du travail: des liens complexes parfois contradictoires . . Les perspectives d’évolution de la population totale, de la population active et de leurs structures par âge sont alternativement sources d’inquiétude ou d’optimisme: craintes pour le financement des retraites, crainte d’effets négatifs sur le dynamisme de l’économie, ou, à l’inverse, espoir d’une forte amélioration des perspectives d’emploi. Parmi ces questions, celle de l’équilibre des retraites a été amplement balayée et est bien connue: le vieillissement de la population pose un incontestable problème d’arbitrage entre niveau des cotisations, pouvoir d’achat relatif des retraités, et âge de la retraite. Mais les autres conséquences des changements démographiques sont moins souvent explorées, notamment celles qui portent sur la relation entre évolutions démographiques et déséquilibres du marché du travail. Cette relation est complexe. Il fait peu de doutes que le retournement de tendance de la population active, au milieu de la décennie, va constituer une rupture majeure. Mais le sens des changements qui vont l’accompagner reste très incertain, à la fois parce que la démographie n’est qu’un déterminant parmi d’autres des comportements ou agrégats macro-économiques, et parce que les canaux par lesquels agissent ces variables démographiques sont multiples et parfois contradictoires. La seule assurance qu’on puisse avoir est que le retournement de la population active ne saurait, à lui seul, garantir le retour spontané au plein emploi. [eng] Demographic Trends and the Labour Market: Complex and sometimes Contradictory Links . . The forecast changes in the total population, the labour force and their age structures are alternatively sources of concern and optimism: fears about pension funding, fear of negative effects on the economy’s buoyancy, and, conversely, the hope of a sharp improvement in employment prospects. One of these concerns, the pensions balance, has been studied inside out and is well known: population ageing raises a definite problem from the point of view of the trade-off between the level of contributions, the relative purchasing power of pensioners, and the retirement age. However, the other consequences of demographic changes are less often explored, especially the effects of the relation between demographic change and labour market imbalances. This relation is complex. There is little doubt that the trend reversal in the labour force in the middle of the decade will constitute a major break. Yet there is still great uncertainty as to the form of the accompanying changes, both because demographics are merely one determinant among other macroeconomic patterns and aggregates, and because the channels via which these demographic variables influence others are many and sometimes contradictory. The only certainty is that the turnaround in the labour force will not alone guarantee a spontaneous return to full employment. [ger] Demographische Entwicklung und Arbeitsmarkt: komplexe und zuweilen widersprüchliche Beziehungen . . Die Perspektiven der Entwicklung der Gesamtbevölkerung, der erwerbstätigen Bevölkerung und ihrer Altersstrukturen geben abwechselnd Anlass zur Beunruhigung und zu Optimismus: Befürchtungen hinsichtlich der Rentenfinanzierung und der negativen Auswirkungen auf die Wirtschaftsdynamik oder im Gegenteil Hoffnung auf eine nennenswerte Verbesserung der Beschäftigungslage. Bei diesen Fragen wurde diejenige des Gleichgewichts der Rentensysteme umfassend erörtert und ist wohl bekannt: die Überalterung der Bevölkerung wirft unbestreitbar ein Problem auf, das heißt zwischen Beitragshöhe, relativer Kaufkraft der Rentner und Rentenalter muss ein angemessenes Verhältnis gefunden werden. Die anderen Folgen der demographischen Veränderungen werden aber nicht so häufig analysiert, insbesondere diejenigen der Beziehung zwischen den demographischen Entwicklungen und den Ungleichgewichten des Arbeitsmarkts. Diese Beziehung ist komplex. Es ist kaum zu bezweifeln, dass die Trendwende bei der erwerbstätigen Bevölkerung Mitte des Jahrzehnts eine erhebliche Zäsur darstellen wird. Welche Veränderungen damit einhergehen werden, lässt sich aber nicht vorhersagen, zum einen weil die Demographie nur eine von mehreren Determinanten der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Verhaltensweisen oder Aggregate ist und zum anderen weil die Kanäle, über die diese demographischen Variablen wirken, vielfältig und zuweilen widersprüchlich sind. Die einzige Gewissheit ist, dass die Abnahme der erwerbstätigen Bevölkerung für sich alleine keine Rückkehr zur Vollbeschäftigung zu gewährleisten vermag. [spa] Evoluciones demográficas y mercado laboral: unos vínculos complejos y a veces contradictorios . . Las perspectivas de evolución de la población total, de la población activa y de sus estructuras por edades son a veces motivos de preocupación y otras veces de optimismo: son motivo de dudas en cuanto a la financiación de las pensiones, en cuanto a los efectos negativos sobre el dinamismo de la economía, o, al contrario, de esperanza de una fuerte mejora de las perspectivas de empleo. Entre esas cuestiones, la del equilibrio de las pensiones ha sido muy indagada y es muy conocida: el envejecimiento de la población plantea un problema de arbitraje evidente entre el nivel de las cotizaciones, el poder adquisitivo relativo de los jubilados, y la edad de jubilación. Pero las otras consecuencias de los cambios demográficos son menos investigadas, sobre todo las que conciernen a la relación entre las evoluciones demográficas y los desequilibrios del mercado laboral. Esa relación es compleja. No cabe duda de que la inversión de tendencia de la población activa, a mediados del decenio, va a ser una ruptura mayor. Pero el sentido de los cambios que la acompañarán es poco previsible, porque la demografía es tan sólo un determinante entre otros de los comportamientos o agregados macroeconómicos, y al mismo tiempo porque las vías por las que esas variables demográficas actúan son a la vez múltiples y contradictorias. La única garantía que tenemos es que la inversión de la población activa no puede por sí solo garantizar el retorno espontáneo al pleno empleo.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Economie et statistique.

    Volume (Year): 355 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 139-156

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    Handle: RePEc:prs:ecstat:estat_0336-1454_2002_num_355_1_7378

    Note: DOI:10.3406/estat.2002.7378
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    Web page: http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/revue/estat

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