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Decomposing the change in labour force indicators over time


  • Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz

    (Max-Planck-Institut für Demografische Forschung)

  • Barbara Zagaglia

    (Università Politecnica delle Marche)

  • Thomas Fent

    (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften)

  • Vegard Skirbekk

    (Columbia University)


In this paper we study changes in the size and the composition of the labour force in five OECD countries from 1983 through 2000. We apply a recent decomposition method to quantify the components of the change over time in the crude labour force rate and the mean age of the labour force. Our results show that the change in the crude labour force rate was dominated by the change in age-specific labour force participation rates. For the mean age of the labour force we find that for males the change in the age composition of the population predominately explains the overall change while the results for females are less clear-cut.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz & Barbara Zagaglia & Thomas Fent & Vegard Skirbekk, 2005. "Decomposing the change in labour force indicators over time," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 13(7), pages 163-188, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:13:y:2005:i:7

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Social Security and Retirement," NBER Working Papers 7830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Robert Shimer, 2001. "The Impact of Young Workers on the Aggregate Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 969-1007.
    3. James W. Vaupel & Vladimir Canudas-Romo, 2002. "Decomposing demographic change into direct vs. compositional components," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 7(1), pages 1-14, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Henseke, Golo & Tivig, Thusnelda, 2013. "Alterung in Berufen: Der Beitrag ökonomischer Einflüsse," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80001, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Elke Loichinger & Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz, 2017. "Changes in economic activity: The role of age and education," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 36(40), pages 1185-1208, April.
    3. Henseke, Golo & Strohner, Benjamin & Tivig, Thusnelda, 2013. "Methodenreport Work & Age: Berufliche Alterungstrends und Fachkräfteengpässe," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 130, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.

    More about this item


    decomposition; labor force; labor force indicators; population aging;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General


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