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Effects of the Changing U.S. Age Distribution on Macroeconomic Equations

The effects of the changing U.S. age distribution on various macroeconomic equations are examined in this paper. The equations include consumption, money demand, housing investment, and labor force participation equations. Seven groups are analyzed: 16-19, 20-24, 30-39, 40-54, 55-64, and 65+. There seems to be enough variance in the age distribution data to allow reasonably precise estimates of the effects of a number of age categories on the macro variables. The results show that, other things being equal, age groups 30-39 and 40-54 consume less than average, invest less in housing than average, and demand more money than average. Age group 55-64 consumes more and demands more money. If these estimates are right, they imply, other things being equal, that consumption and housing investment will be negatively affected in the future as more and more baby boomers enter the 30-54 age group. The demand for money will be positively affected. If, as Easterlin argues, the average wage that an age group faces is negatively affected by the percent of the population in that group, then the labor force participation rate of a group should depend on the relative size of the group. If the substitution effect dominates, people in a large group should work less than average, and if the income effect dominates, they should work more than average. The results indicate that the substitution effect dominates for women 25-54 and that the income effect dominates for men 25-54.

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File URL: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/P/cd/d08a/d0839.pdf
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Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 839.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Jun 1987
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in American Economic Review (1991), 81(5): 1276-1294
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:839
Note: CFP 800.
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Web page: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/

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  1. Berger, Mark C, 1985. "The Effect of Cohort Size on Earnings Growth: A Reexamination of the Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(3), pages 561-73, June.
  2. Ray C. Fair, 1986. "International Evidence on the Demand for Money," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 813, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Hendry, David F. & Pagan, Adrian R. & Sargan, J.Denis, 1984. "Dynamic specification," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 18, pages 1023-1100 Elsevier.
  4. Andrews, Donald W K & Fair, Ray C, 1988. "Inference in Nonlinear Econometric Models with Structural Change," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 615-39, October.
  5. von Furstenberg, George M, 1980. "Private Saving," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(2), pages 177-81, May.
  6. Blinder, Alan S, 1975. "Distribution Effects and the Aggregate Consumption Function," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(3), pages 447-75, June.
  7. Denton, Frank T & Spencer, Byron G, 1976. "Household and Population Effects on Aggregate Consumption," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 58(1), pages 86-95, February.
  8. Donald W.K. Andrews & Ray C. Fair, 1987. "Inference in Econometric Models with Structural Change," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 832, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Stoker, Thomas M, 1986. "Simple Tests of Distributional Effects on Macroeconomic Equations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 763-95, August.
  10. Hayashi, Fumio & Sims, Christopher A, 1983. "Nearly Efficient Estimation of Time Series Models with Predetermined, but Not Exogenous, Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(3), pages 783-98, May.
  11. Johnson, William R & Skinner, Jonathan, 1986. "Labor Supply and Marital Separation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 455-69, June.
  12. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  13. Heien, Dale M, 1972. "Demographic Effects and the Multiperiod Consumption Function," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(1), pages 125-38, Jan.-Feb..
  14. Hanushek, Eric A. & Quigley, John M., 1979. "The dynamics of the housing market: A stock adjustment model of housing consumption," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 90-111, January.
  15. James Tobin, 1956. "Liquidity Preference as Behavior Towards Risk," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 14, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  16. George L. Perry, 1977. "Potential Output and Productivity," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 8(1), pages 11-60.
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