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Labor market effects of population aging

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  • Axel Börsch-Supan

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    (Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA))

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    Abstract

    This paper analyzes effects of population aging on the labor market and determines their broad implications for public policy. It takes Germany as an example, but it equally applies to the other large economies in Continental Europe. The paper argues that, alongside the amply discussed, demographically-determined increase in the contribution and tax burden which is responsible for the ever widening gap between gross and disposable earnings, two other important areas of policy deserve greater attention. First, it is unlikely that the decline in the relative size of the economically active population will be offset by higher capital intensity. Labor productivity will need to increase over and above this mechanism in order to compensate for the impact of population aging on domestic production. Hence, we will need more education and training to speed up human capital formation. Second, the shift in the age structure will also change the structure of demand for goods. This, in turn, will have large effects on the pattern of employment across different sectors of the economy and will require a substantial increase in labor mobility in order to accommodate these structural changes.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy in its series MEA discussion paper series with number 02011.

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    Date of creation: 22 Jan 2002
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    Handle: RePEc:mea:meawpa:02011

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    Postal: Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy, Amalienstraße 33, 80799 München, Germany
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    References

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    1. Dominik H. Enste & Friedrich Schneider, 2000. "Shadow Economies: Size, Causes, and Consequences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 77-114, March.
    2. Fehr, Hans, 1999. "Pension reform during the demographic transition," W.E.P. - Würzburg Economic Papers 8, University of Würzburg, Chair for Monetary Policy and International Economics.
    3. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Ludwig, Alexander & Winter, Joachim, 2002. "Aging and International Capital Flows," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 02-27, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    4. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & David A. Wise, 1989. "Employee Retirement and a Firm's Pension Plan," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Aging, pages 279-334 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Borsch-Supan, Axel, 2000. "A Model under Siege: A Case Study of the German Retirement Insurance System," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(461), pages F24-45, February.
    6. Richard Disney, 1996. "Can We Afford to Grow Older?," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026204157x, December.
    7. Riphahn, Regina T. & Schmidt, Peter, 1995. "Determinanten des Rentenzugangs: Lockt der Ruhestand oder drängt der Arbeitsmarkt?," ZEW Discussion Papers 95-10, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    8. Robin L. Lumsdaine & James H. Stock & David A. Wise, 1990. "Three Models of Retirement: Computational Complexity Versus Predictive Validity," NBER Working Papers 3558, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Palacios, Robert & Rocha, Roberto, 1998. "The Hungarian pension system in transition," Social Protection Discussion Papers 20048, The World Bank.
    10. Borsch-Supan, Axel, 2000. "Incentive effects of social security on labor force participation: evidence in Germany and across Europe," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 25-49, October.
    11. Sikandar Siddiqui, 1997. "The pension incentive to retire: Empirical evidence for West Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 463-486.
    12. Disney, Richard, 1999. "Notional accounts as a pension reform strategy : an evaluation," Social Protection Discussion Papers 21302, The World Bank.
    13. James H. Stock & David A. Wise, 1990. "The Pension Inducement to Retire: An Option Value Analysis," NBER Chapters, in: Issues in the Economics of Aging, pages 205-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Borsch-Supan, Axel & Schnabel, Reinhold, 1998. "Social Security and Declining Labor-Force Participation in Germany," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 173-78, May.
    15. Cigno, Alessandro, 1995. "Public pensions with endogenous fertility: Comment on Nishimura and Zhang," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 169-173, May.
    16. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Lührmann, Melanie, 2000. "Prinzipien der Renten- und Pensionsbesteuerung," Discussion Papers 584, Institut fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre und Statistik, Abteilung fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre.
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    Cited by:
    1. Axel Börsch-Supan, 2002. "Mehr Zuwanderung? Zur Rolle des Auslands bei der Stabilisierung der gesetzlichen Rentenversicherung in Deutschland," MEA discussion paper series 02022, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.

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