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Old teachers, old ideas, and the effect of population aging on economic growth

Listed author(s):
  • Berk, Jillian
  • Weil, David N.

As populations age, the degree to which workers׳ human capital reflects the cutting edge of technology falls because education took place further in the past. This “pure vintage” effect of aging is well known. In this paper, we explore a second effect of aging: in an older population, older teachers pass on knowledge that was current further in the past. We show that this “teacher multiplier” can significantly increase the technological backwardness of the labor force. We present both an analytic model that can be solved for steady states and a numerical model that can describe transitions in the average vintage of human capital as population age structure changes over time. We also discuss evidence on the effect of age on the technological up-to-dateness of workers in general and teachers in particular.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1090944315300454
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research in Economics.

Volume (Year): 69 (2015)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 661-670

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Handle: RePEc:eee:reecon:v:69:y:2015:i:4:p:661-670
DOI: 10.1016/j.rie.2015.07.002
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622941

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  1. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Günther Fink, 2010. "Implications of population ageing for economic growth," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(4), pages 583-612, Winter.
  2. Jonah E. Rockoff, 2004. "The Impact of Individual Teachers on Student Achievement: Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 247-252, May.
  3. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 1-9.
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  6. Hendrik P. Van Dalen & Kène Henkens & Joop Schippers, 2010. "Productivity of Older Workers: Perceptions of Employers and Employees," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 36(2), pages 309-330.
  7. Boucekkine, Raouf & de la Croix, David & Licandro, Omar, 2002. "Vintage Human Capital, Demographic Trends, and Endogenous Growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 340-375, June.
  8. Barro, Robert J & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1997. "Technological Diffusion, Convergence, and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 1-26, March.
  9. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352-352.
  10. Courtney Monk & Alicia H. Munnell, 2009. "The Implications of Declining Retiree Health Insurance," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2009-15, Center for Retirement Research, revised Aug 2009.
  11. Wolfgang Keller, 2004. "International Technology Diffusion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 752-782, September.
  12. Orley Ashenfelter & David Card, 2002. "Did the Elimination of Mandatory Retirement Affect Faculty Retirement?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 957-980, September.
  13. Tammy Schirle, 2008. "Why Have the Labor Force Participation Rates of Older Men Increased since the Mid-1990s?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(4), pages 549-594, October.
  14. Barry P. Bosworth & Ralph C. Bryant & Gary Burtless, 2004. "The Impact of Aging on Financial Markets and the Economy: A Survey," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College 2004-23, Center for Retirement Research.
  15. Sherwin Rosen, 1975. "Measuring the Obsolescence of Knowledge," NBER Chapters,in: Education, Income, and Human Behavior, pages 199-232 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Leora Friedberg & Anthony Webb, 2005. "Retirement and the Evolution of Pension Structure," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(2).
  17. James Feyrer, 2007. "Demographics and Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 100-109, February.
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