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The Impact of Demographic Change on Human Capital Accumulation

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  • Michael Fertig
  • Christoph M. Schmidt
  • Mathias G. Sinning

Abstract

This paper investigates whether and to what extent demographic change has an impact on human capital accumulation. The effect of the relative cohort size on educational attainment of young adults in Germany is analyzed utilizing data from the German Socio-Economic Panel for West-German individuals of the birth cohorts 1966 to 1986. These are the cohorts which entered the labor market since the 1980's. Particular attention is paid to the effect of changes in labor market conditions, which constitute an important channel through which demographic change may affect human capital accumulation. Our findings suggest that the variables measuring demographic change exert a considerable though heterogeneous impact on the human capital accumulation of young Germans. Changing labor market conditions during the 1980's and 1990's exhibit a sizeable impact on both the highest schooling and the highest professional degree obtained by younger cohorts.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 608.

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Date of creation: Mar 2009
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Handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:608

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Keywords: Demographic Change; Schooling; Vocational Training;

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  1. Woessmann, Ludger, 2004. "How Equal Are Educational Opportunities? Family Background and Student Achievement in Europe and the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 1284, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Rachel Connelly, 1986. "A Framework for Analyzing the Impact of Cohort Size on Education and Labor Earning," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(4), pages 543-562.
  3. Connelly, Rachel & Gottschalk, Peter, 1995. "The Effect of Cohort Composition on Human Capital Accumulation across Generations," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 155-76, January.
  4. Stapleton, David C & Young, Douglas J, 1988. "Educational Attainment and Cohort Size," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(3), pages 330-61, July.
  5. Michael Fertig & Christoph M. Schmidt, 2004. "Gerontocracy in Motion? – European Cross-Country Evidence on the Labor Market Consequences of Population Ageing," RWI Discussion Papers 0008, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
  6. Klevmarken, N Anders, 1993. "Demographics and the Dynamics of Earnings," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 105-22, May.
  7. Clark, Damon, 2002. "The Impact of Local Labour Market Conditions on Participation in Further Education in England," IZA Discussion Papers 550, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Dahlberg, Susanne & Nahum, Ruth-Aïda, 2003. "Cohort Effects on Earnings Profiles: Evidence from Sweden," Arbetsrapport 2003:3, Institute for Futures Studies.
  9. Fertig, Michael, 2003. "Who's to Blame? The Determinants of German Students' Achievement in the PISA 2000 Study," IZA Discussion Papers 739, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Wright, Robert E, 1991. "Cohort Size and Earnings in Great Britain," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 295-305, November.
  11. Richard B. Freeman, 1979. "The Effect of Demographic Factors on Age-Earnings Profiles," NBER Working Papers 0316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Finis Welch, 1979. "Effects of Cohort Size on Earnings: The Baby Boom Babies' Financial Bust," UCLA Economics Working Papers 146, UCLA Department of Economics.
  13. Welch, Finis, 1979. "Effects of Cohort Size on Earnings: The Baby Boom Babies' Financial Bust," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages S65-97, October.
  14. Jochen Kluve & Christoph M. Schmidt, 2002. "Can training and employment subsidies combat European unemployment?," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 409-448, October.
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