Past and future of the labor force in emerging Asian economies
In this paper we investigate the determinants of past changes in the labor force of 12 emerging Asian countries, and attempt to make projections of the labor force in those countries for the period 2010–2030. Results from our regression analysis of the labor force indicate that the wage earnings elasticity of labor supply is negative, albeit insignificant, for men and significantly positive for women, and it has a significantly positive association with educational level and a negative one with age. We also find that per capita income shows a negative relationship with the labor force in general for younger age groups and older age groups, and more capital-intensive countries have smaller female labor force. Using extrapolation, the paper predicts that the labor force will increase in all 12 countries during the first two decades of the period 2010–2030, but will eventually decline in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. The paper also makes projections of the unemployment rate and the average working hours in those countries.
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