IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aecrev/v107y2017i5p174-79.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Secular Stagnation? The Effect of Aging on Economic Growth in the Age of Automation

Author

Listed:
  • Daron Acemoglu
  • Pascual Restrepo

Abstract

Several recent theories emphasize the negative effects of an aging population on economic growth, either because of the lower labor force participation and productivity of older workers or because aging will create an excess of savings over desired investment, leading to secular stagnation. We show that there is no such negative relationship in the data. If anything, countries experiencing more rapid aging have grown more in recent decades. We suggest that this counterintuitive finding might reflect the more rapid adoption of automation technologies in countries undergoing more pronounced demographic changes and provide evidence and theoretical underpinnings for this argument.

Suggested Citation

  • Daron Acemoglu & Pascual Restrepo, 2017. "Secular Stagnation? The Effect of Aging on Economic Growth in the Age of Automation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(5), pages 174-179, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:5:p:174-79
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.p20171101
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/aer.p20171101
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/articles/attachments?retrieve=t13wV4aSmnXuhltPyHWbkXm4m8hgoFvJ
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Daron Acemoglu & Pascual Restrepo, 2016. "The Race Between Machine and Man: Implications of Technology for Growth, Factor Shares and Employment," NBER Working Papers 22252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Nicole Maestas & Kathleen J. Mullen & David Powell, 2016. "The Effect of Population Aging on Economic Growth, the Labor Force and Productivity," Working Papers WR-1063-1, RAND Corporation.
    3. Nicole Maestas & Kathleen Mullen & David Powell, 2014. "The Effect of Population Aging on Economic Growth," Discussion Papers 14-012, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    4. Nicole Maestas & Kathleen J. Mullen & David Powell, 2016. "The Effect of Population Aging on Economic Growth, the Labor Force and Productivity," NBER Working Papers 22452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Robert J. Gordon, 2016. "Perspectives on The Rise and Fall of American Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 72-76, May.
    6. James Feyrer, 2007. "Demographics and Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 100-109, February.
    7. Thomas Lindh & Bo Malmberg, 1999. "Age structure effects and growth in the OECD, 1950-1990," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 12(3), pages 431-449.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:moneco:v:93:y:2018:i:c:p:45-62 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:spr:epolit:v:35:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s40888-017-0079-x is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Casper Worm Hansen & Holger Strulik, 2017. "Life expectancy and education: evidence from the cardiovascular revolution," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 421-450, December.
    4. Carmen Herrero & Ricardo Martínez & Antonio Villar, 2017. "Population Structure And The Human Development Index," Working Papers 17.08, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
    5. Baldanzi, Annarita & Prettner, Klaus & Tscheuschner, Paul, 2017. "Longevity-induced vertical innovation and the tradeoff between life and growth," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 31-2017, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    6. Dauth, Wolfgang & Findeisen, Sebastian & Südekum, Jens & Wößner, Nicole, 2017. "German robots - the impact of industrial robots on workers," IAB Discussion Paper 201730, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    7. Carmen Herrero & Ricardo Martínez & Antonio Villar, 2019. "Population structure and the human development index," ThE Papers 19/01, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
    8. repec:oup:ecpoli:v:33:y:2018:i:96:p:587-634. is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Masuch, Klaus & Anderton, Robert & Setzer, Ralph & Benalal, Nicholai, 2018. "Structural policies in the euro area," Occasional Paper Series 210, European Central Bank.
    10. Rainer Kotschy & Uwe Sunde & Tommaso MonacelliManaging Editor, 2018. "Can education compensate the effect of population ageing on macroeconomic performance?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 33(96), pages 587-634.
    11. repec:eee:jhouse:v:38:y:2017:i:c:p:38-49 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Cooley, Thomas & Henriksen, Espen, 2018. "The demographic deficit," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 45-62.
    13. Edle von Gaessler, Anne & Ziesemer, Thomas, 2017. "Ageing, human capital and demographic dividends with endogenous growth, labour supply and foreign capital," MERIT Working Papers 043, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    14. Frank T. Denton & Byron G. Spencer, 2017. "What Rates Of Productivity Growth Would Be Required To Offset The Effects Of Population Aging? A Study Of Twenty Industrialised Countries," Department of Economics Working Papers 2017-08, McMaster University.
    15. repec:ers:ijebaa:v:vii:y:2019:i:1:p:49-63 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. repec:zbw:svrwjg:201718 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. repec:spr:envpol:v:21:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s10018-018-0230-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Frank T. Denton & Byron G. Spencer, 2018. "The Differential Effects of Population Aging on Provincial GDP per capita and the Role of Productivity Growth as a Possible offset," Department of Economics Working Papers 2018-04, McMaster University.
    19. Uwe Cantner & Holger Graf & Ekaterina Prytkova & Simone Vannuccini, 2018. "The Compositional Nature of Productivity and Innovation Slowdown," Jena Economic Research Papers 2018-006, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    20. repec:eee:ecmode:v:75:y:2018:i:c:p:142-158 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. repec:wfo:wstudy:60730 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:5:p:174-79. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael P. Albert). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.