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A cohort-based model of labor force participation

  • Bruce Fallick
  • Jonathan Pingle

The probability that an individual participates in the labor force declines precipitously beyond age 50. This feature of labor supply suggests that ongoing shifts in the age distribution of the population will put substantial downward pressure on the aggregate labor force participation rate. However, the aggregate rate is also influenced by trends within age groups. Neglecting to model both within-group influences and shifting population shares will doom any estimate of aggregate labor supply. We develop a model that identifies birth cohorts' propensities to participate, uses these propensities to derive age-specific trends in participation rates, and explicitly incorporates the influence of shifting population shares in estimating aggregate labor force participation.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2007-09.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2007-09
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  1. James Poterba & Joshua Rauh & Steven Venti & David Wise, 2006. "Defined Contribution Plans, Defined Benefit Plans, and the Accumulation of Retirement Wealth," NBER Working Papers 12597, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Stephanie Aaronson & Bruce Fallick & Andrew Figura & Jonathan Pingle & William Wascher, 2006. "The Recent Decline in the Labor Force Participation Rate and Its Implications for Potential Labor Supply," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 37(1), pages 69-154.
  3. David S. Loughran & Steven Haider, 2007. "Do the Elderly Respond to Taxes on Earnings? Evidence from the Social Security Retirement Earnings Test," Working Papers 223-1, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  4. Claudia Goldin, 2006. "The Quiet Revolution That Transformed Women's Employment, Education, and Family," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 1-21, May.
  5. Daniel Aaronson & Daniel Sullivan, 2002. "Growth in worker quality," Chicago Fed Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Feb.
  6. Frees, Edward W., 2003. "Stochastic forecasting of labor force participation rates," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 317-336, October.
  7. Jonathan F. Pingle, 2006. "Social Security's delayed retirement credit and the labor supply of older men," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2006-37, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Julie L. Hotchkiss, 2005. "What’s up with the decline in female labor force participation?," Working Paper 2005-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  9. Jaeger, David A, 1997. "Reconciling the Old and New Census Bureau Education Questions: Recommendations for Researchers," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(3), pages 300-309, July.
  10. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1995. "Measuring Business Cycles Approximate Band-Pass Filters for Economic Time Series," NBER Working Papers 5022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Gustavsson, Magnus & Osterholm, Par, 2006. "The informational value of unemployment statistics: A note on the time series properties of participation rates," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 92(3), pages 428-433, September.
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