IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Consumption and population age structure


  • Solveig Erlandsen


  • Ragnar Nymoen



In this paper the e ects on aggregate consumption of changes in the age distribution of the population are analysed empirically. Economic theories predict that age influences individuals’ saving and consumption behaviour. Despite this, age structure e ects are rarely controlled for in empirical consumption functions. Our findings suggest that they should. By analysing Norwegian quarterly time series data we find that changes in the age distribution of the population have significant and life cycle consistent e ects on aggregate consumption. Furthermore, controlling for age structure effects stabilizes the other parameters of the consumption function and reveals significant real interest rate effects. Simulation experiments show that the numerical effect on the savings rate of age structure changes is substantial when the indirect effects via wealth and income are accounted for.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Solveig Erlandsen & Ragnar Nymoen, 2008. "Consumption and population age structure," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(3), pages 505-520, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:21:y:2008:i:3:p:505-520
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-006-0088-5

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David N. Weil, 1994. "The Saving of the Elderly in Micro and Macro Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 55-81.
    2. Fair, Ray C & Dominguez, Kathryn M, 1991. "Effects of the Changing U.S. Age Distribution on Macroeconomic Equations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1276-1294, December.
    3. Jansen, Eilev S & Terasvirta, Timo, 1996. "Testing Parameter Constancy and Super Exogeneity in Econometric Equations," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 58(4), pages 735-763, November.
    4. Leff, Nathaniel H, 1969. "Dependency Rates and Savings Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(5), pages 886-896, December.
    5. Miles, David, 1999. "Modelling the Impact of Demographic Change upon the Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(452), pages 1-36, January.
    6. Jonathan A. Parker, 2000. "Spendthrift in America? On Two Decades of Decline in the U.S. Saving Rate," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1999, Volume 14, pages 317-387 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Elena Andreou & Aris Spanos, 2003. "Statistical Adequacy and the Testing of Trend Versus Difference Stationarity," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(3), pages 217-237, January.
    8. Øyvind Eitrheim & Eilev S. Jansen & Ragnar Nymoen, 2002. "Progress from forecast failure -- the Norwegian consumption function," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 5(1), pages 40-64, June.
    9. Solveig Erlandsen & Ragnar Nymoen, 2008. "Consumption and population age structure," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(3), pages 505-520, July.
    10. Henrik Hansen & Søren Johansen, 1999. "Some tests for parameter constancy in cointegrated VAR-models," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 2(2), pages 306-333.
    11. Ohtake, F. & Horioka, C.Y., 1995. "Saving Motives in Japan," ISER Discussion Paper 0392, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    12. Olli-Pekka Lehmussaari, 1990. "Deregulation and Consumption: Saving Dynamics in the Nordic Countries," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 37(1), pages 71-93, March.
    13. Bayoumi, Tamim & Masson, Paul R & Samiei, Hossein, 1996. "International Evidence on the Determinants of Saving," CEPR Discussion Papers 1368, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Clifford L.F. Attfield & Edmund Cannon, 2003. "The Impact of Age Distribution Variables on the Long Run Consumption Function," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 03/546, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    15. Berg, Lennart, 1994. "Household Savings and Debts: The Experience of the Nordic Countries," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 42-53, Summer.
    16. David F. Hendry & Katarina Juselius, 2001. "Explaining Cointegration Analysis: Part II," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 75-120.
    17. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 2000. "Growth and Saving Among Individuals and Households," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 212-225, May.
    18. McMillan, Henry M. & Baesel, Jerome B., 1990. "The macroeconomic impact of the baby boom generation," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 167-195.
    19. Hendry, David F. & Neale, Adrian J. & Srba, Frank, 1988. "Econometric analysis of small linear systems using PC-FIML," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1-2), pages 203-226.
    20. Harbo, Ingrid, et al, 1998. "Asymptotic Inference on Cointegrating Rank in Partial Systems," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 16(4), pages 388-399, October.
    21. Masson, Paul R & Bayoumi, Tamim & Samiei, Hossein, 1998. "International Evidence on the Determinants of Private Saving," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 12(3), pages 483-501, September.
    22. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
    23. Johansen, Soren, 1995. "Likelihood-Based Inference in Cointegrated Vector Autoregressive Models," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198774501.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Rami Ben HAJ-KACEM, 2015. "The Impact of Age Distribution on Household Consumption: Evidence from Saudi Arabia," Turkish Economic Review, KSP Journals, vol. 2(4), pages 277-304, December.
    2. Jochen Mierau & Stephen Turnovsky, 2014. "Capital accumulation and the sources of demographic change," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(3), pages 857-894, July.
    3. Chen, Quanrun & Dietzenbacher, Erik & Los, Bart & Yang, Cuihong, 2016. "Modeling the short-run effect of fiscal stimuli on GDP: A new semi-closed input–output model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 52-63.
    4. Eilev Jansen, 2013. "Wealth effects on consumption in financial crises: the case of Norway," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 873-904, October.
    5. Xuehui Han & Yuan Cheng, 2017. "Consumption- and Productivity-Adjusted Dependency Ratio with Household Structure Heterogeneity," Working Papers id:12339, eSocialSciences.
    6. Kijin Kim & Geoffrey J. D. Hewings & Kurt Kratena, 2016. "Household disaggregation and forecasting in a regional econometric input–output model," Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 73-91, March.
    7. Britta Stoever, 2013. "The power of elderly consumers – how demographic change affects the economy through private household demand in Germany," EcoMod2013 5147, EcoMod.
    8. Delphine Bassilière & Didier Baudewyns & Francis Bossier & Ingrid Bracke & Igor Lebrun & Peter Stockman & Peter Willemé, 2013. "Working Paper 13-13 - A new version of the HERMES model - HERMES III," Working Papers 1313, Federal Planning Bureau, Belgium.
    9. repec:spr:jopoec:v:31:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s00148-017-0654-z is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Solveig Erlandsen & Ragnar Nymoen, 2008. "Consumption and population age structure," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(3), pages 505-520, July.

    More about this item


    Consumption; Demography; Cointegration; C51; C53; E21;

    JEL classification:

    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:21:y:2008:i:3:p:505-520. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.