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Population Ageing and Productivity: Implications and Policy Options for New Zealand

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  • Ross Guest

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    (The Treasury)

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    Abstract

    This paper critically evaluates the effects of population ageing on labour productivity with particular reference to New Zealand. A number of potential long run mechanisms are considered: complementarity of workers by age, age-specific productivity of individuals, new technology discoveries and adoptions, fertility and human capital investments. Potential short run channels include: the ‘second demographic dividend’, changes in industry composition, incentives to seek labour saving technologies. Simulations tentatively suggest that workers could become more complimentary by age which would boost labour productivity. The magnitude of this effect on living standards could entirely offset the projected 12 per cent fall in the support ratio over the next 40 years. The most effective policies for mitigating the national economic burden of ageing are policies to boost labour participation of older workers and to boost immigration.

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    File URL: http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/research-policy/wp/2013/13-21/twp13-21.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by New Zealand Treasury in its series Treasury Working Paper Series with number 13/21.

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    Length: 30
    Date of creation: Dec 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:nzt:nztwps:13/21

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    Keywords: Population ageing; labour productivity; demographic dividend;

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    1. Burkhard Heer & Andreas Irmen, 2008. "Population, Pensions, and Endogenous Economic Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 2480, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Paul Beaudry & Fabrice Collard, 2003. "Recent Technological and Economic Change among Industrialized Countries: Insights from Population Growth," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(3), pages 441-464, 09.
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    8. Kelley, Allen C & Schmidt, Robert M, 1996. "Saving, Dependency and Development," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 365-86, November.
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    12. Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, 1986. "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," NBER Working Papers 1793, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Anne Gauthier, 2007. "The impact of family policies on fertility in industrialized countries: a review of the literature," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 323-346, June.
    14. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S279-88, Part II, .
    15. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Matthew Bell & Gary Blick & Oscar Parkyn & Paul Rodway & Polly Vowles, 2010. "Challenges and Choices: Modelling New Zealand’s Long-term Fiscal Position," Treasury Working Paper Series 10/01, New Zealand Treasury.
    17. Martin Werding, 2008. "Ageing and Productivity Growth: Are there Macro-level Cohort Effects of Human Capital?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2207, CESifo Group Munich.
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