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Population, Pensions, and Endogenous Economic Growth

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  • Burkhard Heer

    (Free University of Bolzano-Bozen, School of Economics and Management,)

  • Andreas Irmen

    (University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics)

Abstract

We study the effect of a declining labor force on the incentives to engage in labor-saving technical change and ask how this effect is influenced by institutional characteristics of the pension scheme. When labor is scarcer it becomes more expensive and innovation investments that increase labor productivity are more profitable. We incorporate this channel in a new dynamic general equilibrium model with endogenous economic growth and heterogeneous overlapping generations. We calibrate the model for the US economy. First, we establish that the net effect of a decline in population growth on the growth rate of per-capita magnitudes is positive and quantitatively significant. Second, we find that the pension system matters both for the growth performance and for individual welfare. Third, we show that the assessment of pension reform proposals may be different in an endogenous growth framework as opposed to the standard framework with exogenous growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Burkhard Heer & Andreas Irmen, 2008. "Population, Pensions, and Endogenous Economic Growth," Working Papers 0479, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:awi:wpaper:0479
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    Cited by:

    1. Ono, Tetsuo & Uchida, Yuki, 2016. "Pensions, education, and growth: A positive analysis," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 127-143.
    2. Ludwig, Alexander & Schelkle, Thomas & Vogel, Edgar, 2007. "Demographic change, human capital and endogenous growth," Papers 08-43, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    3. Du, C. & Muysken, J. & Sleijpen, O.C.H.M., 2010. "Economy wide risk diversification in a three-pillar pension system," Research Memorandum 055, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    4. Woodland, A., 2016. "Taxation, Pensions, and Demographic Change," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, in: Piggott, John & Woodland, Alan (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 713-780, Elsevier.
    5. Thomas Ziesemer & Anne von Gässler, 2021. "Ageing, human capital and demographic dividends with endogenous growth, labour supply and foreign capital," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer;Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao, vol. 20(2), pages 129-160, May.
    6. Heer, Burkhard & Polito, Vito & Wickens, Michael R., 2020. "Population aging, social security and fiscal limits," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 116(C).
    7. Marius Bickmann, 2017. "Demographic Change and Labor Mobility," 2017 Meeting Papers 259, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Ross Guest, 2013. "Population Ageing and Productivity: Implications and Policy Options for New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 13/21, New Zealand Treasury.
    9. Gehringer, Agnieszka & Prettner, Klaus, 2019. "Longevity And Technological Change," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(4), pages 1471-1503, June.
    10. Ross Guest, 2014. "Population ageing and productivity: A survey with implications for New Zealand," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(2), pages 153-168, August.
    11. Oliwia Komada & Krzysztof Makarski & Joanna Tyrowicz, 2017. "Welfare effects of fiscal policy in reforming the pension system," GRAPE Working Papers 11, GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics.
    12. Heer, Burkhard & Irmen, Andreas, 2014. "Population, pensions, and endogenous economic growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 50-72.
    13. de Freitas, Carlos Eduardo & Paes, Nelson Leitão, 2019. "The collapse of Brazilian Social Security: Macroeconomic impacts of the increase of the minimum age of PEC nº 287/2016 reform," Brazilian Review of Econometrics, Sociedade Brasileira de Econometria - SBE, vol. 39(1), July.
    14. Süssmuth, Bernd & Irmen, Andreas & Heer, Burkhard, 2020. "Taxation, Automation Capital, and the Functional Income Distribution," VfS Annual Conference 2020 (Virtual Conference): Gender Economics 224572, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    15. Burkhard Heer & Mark Trede, 2020. "Age-Specific Entrepreneurship and PAYG Public Pensions in Germany," CQE Working Papers 9120, Center for Quantitative Economics (CQE), University of Muenster.
    16. Burkhard Heer & Andreas Irmen & Bernd Süssmuth, 2020. "Explaining the Decline in the US Labor Share: Taxation and Automation," DEM Discussion Paper Series 20-20, Department of Economics at the University of Luxembourg.
    17. Jan Acedański & Julia Włodarczyk, 2018. "Demographics, retirement age, and real interest rates in Poland," Central European Journal of Economic Modelling and Econometrics, Central European Journal of Economic Modelling and Econometrics, vol. 10(4), pages 355-385, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Growth; Demographic Transition; Capital Accumulation; Pension Reform;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • C68 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computable General Equilibrium Models
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution

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