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Demographic and economic factors of labour supply: Long-term projections and policy options for France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom

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  • Serguey Ivanov
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    Abstract

    The paper presents labour supply scenarios in France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom for the years 2025 and 2050. These projections were based on the examination of the dynamics of the major contributing factors to the labour supply (LS), i.e. working-age population (WAP), labour force participation rate (LFPR), employment rate (ER) and labour utilisation (LU; defined as time worked per worker per year). The assumptions underlying the scenarios varied from plausible to `best case scenario' to unrealistic. In France and in the United Kingdom, the demographic factors coupled with continuing immigration at the current levels will shape only a marginal decrease of the size of WAP. By contrast, the size of Germany's and Italy's WAP will shrink significantly by 2025 and, barring a tremendous surge in immigration, greatly by mid-century. In order to sustain the supply of labour, Italy has to eliminate unemployment. This assumes the sustainability of such factors as the recent increase in LFPR (especially of women) and relatively large immigration. By contrast, Germany has a large potential for increasing labour utilisation. Unless, however, immigration is increased dramatically, this will not suffice to balance the impact of the WAP decrease on LS. Within varying degrees, governments are able to affect the components of labour supply and capitalise on eventual synergies. The analysis relies on data from the United Nations Population Division, OECD, ILO and the European Union.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna in its journal Vienna Yearbook of Population Research.

    Volume (Year): 7 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 83-122

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    Handle: RePEc:vid:yearbk:v:7:y:2009:i:1:p:83-122

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    Web page: http://www.oeaw.ac.at/vid/

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    1. Giuseppe Carone, 2005. "Long-term labour force projections for the 25 EU Member States: A set of data for assessing the economic impact of ageing," European Economy - Economic Papers 235, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    2. Orsetta Causa, 2008. "Explaining Differences in Hours Worked among OECD Countries: An empirical analysis," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 596, OECD Publishing.
    3. Kalwij, Adriaan & Vermeulen, Frederic, 2005. "Labour Force Participation of the Elderly in Europe: The Importance of Being Healthy," IZA Discussion Papers 1887, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 2002. "Social Security Programs and Retirement Around the World: Micro Estimation," NBER Working Papers 9407, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Tomás Sobotka, 2004. "Is Lowest-Low Fertility in Europe Explained by the Postponement of Childbearing?," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 30(2), pages 195-220.
    6. Hervé Boulhol, 2009. "The Effects of Population Structure on Employment and Productivity," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 684, OECD Publishing.
    7. Giuseppe Carone & Declan Costello & Nuria Diez Guardia & Gilles Mourre & Bartosz Przywara & Aino Salomaki, 2005. "The economic impact of ageing populations in the EU25 Member States," European Economy - Economic Papers 236, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    8. Daniela Del Boca, 2002. "Low Fertility and Labour Force Participation of Italian Women: Evidence and Interpretations," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 61, OECD Publishing.
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