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The impact of demographic change on U. S. labor markets: discussion


  • James P. Smith


As its title indicates, the paper by Jane Little and Robert Triest deals with the impact of some upcoming demographic changes on the U. S. labor market. The two changes highlighted are the well-documented population aging and immigration. According to the paper, the challenges raised by these changes are rising and high old-age dependency ratios because of declining numbers of workers to retirees, and slower productivity growth, since migrants tend to have less education than the native-born. ; I would only have quibbles, not quarrels, with their clear and balanced description of these future demographic trends, which relies mainly on Census projections. On both immigration and population aging, however, I believe that better estimates are available than those of the Census. But these superior estimates would still project a future labor force much like the one foreseen in the Little/Triest paper.

Suggested Citation

  • James P. Smith, 2001. "The impact of demographic change on U. S. labor markets: discussion," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 46.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbcp:y:2001:n:46:x:15

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    1. Guillermina Jasso & Mark R. Rosenzweig & James P. Smith, 2000. "The Changing Skill of New Immigrants to the United States: Recent Trends and Their Determinants," NBER Chapters,in: Issues in the Economics of Immigration, pages 185-226 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Demography ; Economic conditions ; Labor market;


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