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Mortality, fertility, education and capital accumulation in a simple OLG economy

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  • Alexander Ludwig
  • Edgar Vogel

Abstract

We develop a simple overlapping generations model to analytically show that population aging leads to increased educational efforts through a general equilibrium effect. The key mechanism at work in the model is that scarcity of raw labor increases the rate of return to human capital relative to physical capital. While a reduction in the birth rate is shown to unambiguously increase educational efforts, increases in the survival rate have ambiguous effects. Falling birth rates unambiguously increase capital per worker while the effects of rising survival rates are ambiguous. When evaluating our model using a calibrated version we find that education always in- creases if life expectancy rises but the effect on the capital stock is still ambiguous and depends on the parameters of the model. We conclude that our model is a useful laboratory to highlight the various potentially offsetting effects at work in models with endogenous education and overlapping generations which is key for understanding the magnitudes of results of applied quantitative general equilibrium analyses employing such a framework.
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Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Ludwig & Edgar Vogel, 2010. "Mortality, fertility, education and capital accumulation in a simple OLG economy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(2), pages 703-735, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:23:y:2010:i:2:p:703-735
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-009-0261-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Heijdra, Ben J. & Romp, Ward E., 2009. "Human capital formation and macroeconomic performance in an ageing small open economy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 725-744, March.
    2. 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.
    3. Browning, Martin & Hansen, Lars Peter & Heckman, James J., 1999. "Micro data and general equilibrium models," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 543-633, Elsevier.
    4. David Cutler & Angus Deaton & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2006. "The Determinants of Mortality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 97-120, Summer.
    5. Zhang, Junsen & Zhang, Jie & Lee, Ronald, 2001. "Mortality decline and long-run economic growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 485-507, June.
    6. 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.
    7. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem & Ryder, Harl E. & Weil, David N., 2000. "Mortality decline, human capital investment, and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 1-23, June.
    8. Gary Hansen & Selahattin Imrohoroglu, 2008. "Consumption over the Life Cycle: The Role of Annuities," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(3), pages 566-583, July.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Aging; Education; Overlapping generations; J11; J24; O11;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • 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
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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