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Demographic Change, Human Capital and Welfare

Author

Listed:
  • Alexander Ludwig

    (Universität zu Köln)

  • Thomas Schelkle

    (London School of Economics)

  • Edgar Vogel

    (Universität Mannheim)

Abstract

Projected demographic changes in the U.S. will reduce the share of the working-age population. Analyses based on standard OLG models predict that these changes will increase the capital-labor ratio. Hence, rates of return to capital decrease and wages increase, which has adverse welfare consequences for current cohorts who will be retired when the rate of return is low. This paper argues that adding endogenous human capital accumulation to the standard model dampens these forces. We find that this adjustment channel is quantitatively important. The standard model with exogenous human capital predicts welfare losses up to 12.5% (5.6%) of lifetime consumption, when contribution (replacement) rates to the pension system are kept constant. These numbers reduce to approximately 8.7% (4.4%) when human capital can endogenously adjust. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Ludwig & Thomas Schelkle & Edgar Vogel, 2012. "Demographic Change, Human Capital and Welfare," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(1), pages 94-107, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:08-168 DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2011.07.001
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Population aging; Human capital; Rate of return; Distribution of welfare;

    JEL classification:

    • C68 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computable General Equilibrium Models
    • E17 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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