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The effects of cohort size on European earnings

  • Giorgio Brunello

    ()

I use the cross-country and time variation in the demographic structure of 11 European countries to study how changes in cohort size affect real earnings in Europe. This is an important question in the light of widespread population ageing. I find that cohort size has a negative and statistically significant effect on earnings, and that this effect is larger for the older age group - aged between 35 and 54 - than for the younger group - aged 20 to 34. I also find that earnings are more sensible to changes in cohort size in Southern Europe, which points to a lower degree of substitutability between individuals with the same education but different age. I argue that the uncovered lower substitutability in the Olive Belt of Europe is in line with the higher employment protection that its workers enjoy, at least compared to the workers located in Northern Europe. One important policy implication of this study is that the demographic shift away from the young and toward the old, a baby bust after a baby boom, is likely to tilt age - earnings profiles in favor of the young more in Southern than in Northern Europe.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00148-009-0250-y
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 23 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 273-290

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:23:y:2010:i:1:p:273-290
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  1. Bertola, Giuseppe & Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence, 2002. "Labour Market Institutions and Demographic Employment Patterns," CEPR Discussion Papers 3448, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Jimeno, Juan F. & Rodriguez-Palenzuela, Diego, 2002. "Youth unemployment in the OECD: demographic shifts, labour market institutions, and macroeconomic shocks," Working Paper Series 0155, European Central Bank.
  3. Richard Layard & Stephen Nickell, 1998. "Labour Market Institutions and Economic Performance," CEP Discussion Papers dp0407, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Franco Peracchi, 2002. "The European Community Household Panel: A review," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 63-90.
  5. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi, 2001. "Macroeconomic Effects of Regulation and Deregulation in Goods and Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 8120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Stapleton, David C & Young, Douglas J, 1988. "Educational Attainment and Cohort Size," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(3), pages 330-61, July.
  7. Wright, Robert E, 1991. "Cohort Size and Earnings in Great Britain," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 295-305, November.
  8. Axel Boersch-Supan, 2001. "Labor Market Effects of Population Aging," NBER Working Papers 8640, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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