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Human Capital Accumulation and the Macroeconomy in an Ageing Society

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  • Ben J. Heijdra
  • Laurie S. M. Reijnders

Abstract

How do population ageing shocks affect the long-run macroeconomic performance of an economy? To answer this question we build a general equilibrium overlapping generations model of a closed economy featuring endogenous factor prices. Finitely-lived individuals are endowed with perfect foresight and make optimal choices over the life cycle. In addition to selecting age profiles for consumption and the hours of time supplied to the labour market, they also choose their schooling level and retirement age. Human capital is accumulated as a result of work experience, the extent of which is determined by the intensity of labour supply. As the agent gets older, biological deterioration sets in and human capital depreciates at an increasing rate. This ultimately prompts the agent to withdraw from the labour market. The microeconomic and macroeconomic effects of three ageing shocks are studied, namely a biological longevity boost, a comprehensive longevity boost, and a baby bust. Robustness checks are performed by allowing for capital market imperfections and indivisibility of labour supply.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4046.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4046

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Keywords: human capital; education; experience effects; borrowing constraints; indivisible labour; retirement; overlapping generations; demography;

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References

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  1. Ben J. Heijdra & Jochen O. Mierau & Laurie S. M. Reijnders, 2010. "The Tragedy of Annuitization," CESifo Working Paper Series 3141, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. De Gregorio, Jose, 1996. "Borrowing constraints, human capital accumulation, and growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 49-71, February.
  3. Klaus Prettner & David Canning, 2012. "Increasing life expectancy and optimal retirement:does population aging necessarily undermine economic prosperity?," PGDA Working Papers 9112, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
  4. Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 1994. "Saving, Growth, and Liquidity Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(1), pages 83-109, February.
  5. David de la Croix & Omar Licandro, . "Life expectancy and endogenous growth," Working Papers 97-23, FEDEA.
  6. Alan S. Blinder & Yoram Weiss, 1975. "Human Capital and Labor Supply: A Synthesis," NBER Working Papers 0067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Pfeiffer, Friedhelm & Reuß, Karsten, 2008. "Age-dependent skill formation and returns to education," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 631-646, August.
  8. Alexander Ludwig & Thomas Schelkle & Edgar Vogel, 2011. "Online Appendix to "Demographic Change, Human Capital and Welfare"," Technical Appendices 08-168, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  9. Heckman, James J, 1974. "Life Cycle Consumption and Labor Supply: An Explanation of the Relationship Between Income and Consumption Over the Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(1), pages 188-94, March.
  10. Boucekkine, Raouf & de la Croix, David & Licandro, Omar, 2000. "Vintage Human Capital, Demographic Trends and Endogenous Growth," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2000007, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  11. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
  12. Heijdra, Ben J. & Mierau, Jochen O., 2012. "The individual life-cycle, annuity market imperfections and economic growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 876-890.
  13. Ludwig, Alexander & Schelkle, Thomas & Vogel, Edgar, 2010. "Demographic Change, Human Capital and Welfare," MEA discussion paper series 10196, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  14. David Bloom & David Canning & Rick Mansfield & Michael Moore, 2006. "Demographic Change, Social Security Systems, and Savings," PGDA Working Papers 1906, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
  15. Susumu Imai & Michael P. Keane, 2004. "Intertemporal Labor Supply and Human Capital Accumulation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(2), pages 601-641, 05.
  16. Weiss, Yoram, 1972. "On the Optimal Lifetime Pattern of Labour Supply," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 82(328), pages 1293-1315, December.
  17. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem & Ryder, Harl E. & Weil, David N., 2000. "Mortality decline, human capital investment, and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 1-23, June.
  18. Heckman, James J, 1976. "A Life-Cycle Model of Earnings, Learning, and Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S11-44, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Vogel, Edgar & Ludwig, Alexander & Börsch-Supan, Axel, 2013. "Aging and Pension Reform: Extending the Retirement Age and Human Capital Formation," MEA discussion paper series 12257, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.

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