IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedlwp/2018-037.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Baby Boomers and the Productivity Slowdown

Author

Listed:
  • Guillaume Vandenbroucke

Abstract

The entry of baby boomers into the labor market in the 1970s slowed growth for physical and human capital per worker because young workers have little of both. Thus, the baby boom could have contributed to the 1970s productivity slowdown. I build and calibrate a model a la Huggett et al. (2011) with exogenous population and TFP to evaluate this theory. The baby boom accounts for 75% of the slowdown in the period 1964-69, 25% in 1970-74 and 2% in 1975-79. The retiring of baby boomers may cause a 2.8pp decline in productivity growth between 2020 and 2040, ceteris paribus.

Suggested Citation

  • Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2018. "The Baby Boomers and the Productivity Slowdown," Working Papers 2018-37, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2018-037
    DOI: doi.org/10.20955/wp.2018.037
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://s3.amazonaws.com/real.stlouisfed.org/wp/2018/2018-037.pdf
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.20955/wp.2018.037
    File Function: https://doi.org/10.20955/wp.2018.037
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/doi.org/10.20955/wp.2018.037?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rodolfo E. Manuelli & Ananth Seshadri, 2014. "Human Capital and the Wealth of Nations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(9), pages 2736-2762, September.
    2. Nicholas Bloom & Charles I. Jones & John Van Reenen & Michael Webb, 2020. "Are Ideas Getting Harder to Find?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 110(4), pages 1104-1144, April.
    3. Nir Jaimovich & Henry E. Siu, 2009. "The Young, the Old, and the Restless: Demographics and Business Cycle Volatility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 804-826, June.
    4. Jorgenson, Dale W, 1988. "Productivity and Postwar U.S. Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 23-41, Fall.
    5. Daniel Aaronson & Daniel G. Sullivan, 2002. "Growth in worker quality," Chicago Fed Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Feb.
    6. William Nordhaus, 2004. "Retrospective on the 1970s Productivity Slowdown," NBER Working Papers 10950, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Mark Huggett & Gustavo Ventura & Amir Yaron, 2011. "Sources of Lifetime Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 2923-2954, December.
    8. Huggett, Mark & Ventura, Gustavo & Yaron, Amir, 2006. "Human capital and earnings distribution dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 265-290, March.
    9. James Feyrer, 2011. "The US productivity slowdown, the baby boom, and management quality," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(1), pages 267-284, January.
    10. Martin Neil Baily & Robert J. Gordon, 1988. "The Productivity Slowdown, Measurement Issues, and the Explosion of Computer Power," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(2), pages 347-432.
    11. 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.
    12. Audra J. Bowlus & Chris Robinson, 2012. "Human Capital Prices, Productivity, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3483-3515, December.
    13. Kong, Y.-C. & Ravikumar, B. & Vandenbroucke, G., 2018. "Explaining cross-cohort differences in life-cycle earnings," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 157-184.
    14. Griliches, Zvi, 1988. "Productivity Puzzles and R&D: Another Nonexplanation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 9-21, Fall.
    15. Morten O. Ravn & Harald Uhlig, 2002. "On adjusting the Hodrick-Prescott filter for the frequency of observations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 371-375.
    16. James Feyrer, 2007. "Demographics and Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 100-109, February.
    17. James Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Explaining Rising Wage Inequality: Explanations With A Dynamic General Equilibrium Model of Labor Earnings With Heterogeneous Agents," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(1), pages 1-58, January.
    18. Andreas Hornstein & Per Krusell, 1996. "Can Technology Improvements Cause Productivity Slowdowns?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1996, Volume 11, pages 209-276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Chulhee Lee, 2001. "The expected length of male retirement in the United States, 1850-1990," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 14(4), pages 641-650.
    20. William E. Cullison, 1989. "The U.S. productivity slowdown: what the experts say," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, vol. 75(Jul), pages 10-21.
    21. Alwyn Young, 2005. "The Gift of the Dying: The Tragedy of AIDS and the Welfare of Future African Generations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 423-466.
    22. Darby, Michael R, 1984. "The U.S. Productivity Slowdown: A Case of Statistical Myopia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 301-322, June.
    23. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
    24. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352-352.
    25. Sang Yoon (Tim) Lee & Ananth Seshadri, 2019. "On the Intergenerational Transmission of Economic Status," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(2), pages 855-921.
    26. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Jaypee Sevilla, 2001. "Economic Growth and the Demographic Transition," NBER Working Papers 8685, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Serguei Kaniovski & Thomas Url & Helmut Hofer & Viola Garstenauer, 2021. "A Long-run Macroeconomic Model of the Austrian Economy (A-LMM 2.0). New Results (2021)," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 67377, May.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Kong, Y.-C. & Ravikumar, B. & Vandenbroucke, G., 2018. "Explaining cross-cohort differences in life-cycle earnings," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 157-184.
    2. Fatih Guvenen & Burhanettin Kuruscu, 2010. "A Quantitative Analysis of the Evolution of the US Wage Distribution, 1970–2000," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2009, Volume 24, pages 227-276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Magnac, Thierry & Roux, Sébastien, 2021. "Heterogeneity and wage inequalities over the life cycle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 134(C).
    4. Daniil Kashkarov, 2022. "RBTC and Human Capital: Accounting for Individual-Level Responses," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp721, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    5. Benoit Dostie & Genevieve Dufour & Raquel Fonseca & Étienne Lalé, 2020. "Évolution séculaire du profil des salaires en fonction de l’âge : Québec, Canada et États-Unis," CIRANO Project Reports 2020rp-21, CIRANO.
    6. Keller, Elisa, 2014. "The slowdown in American educational attainment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 252-270.
    7. Alejandro Badel & Mark Huggett, 2014. "Interpreting Life Cycle Inequality Patterns as an Efficient Allocation: Mission Impossible?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(4), pages 613-629, October.
    8. Lutz Hendricks & Oksana Leukhina, 2018. "The Return To College: Selection And Dropout Risk," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 59(3), pages 1077-1102, August.
    9. Huggett, Mark & Ventura, Gustavo & Yaron, Amir, 2006. "Human capital and earnings distribution dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 265-290, March.
    10. Karthik Athreya & Felicia Ionescu & Urvi Neelakantan, . "Stock Market Participation: The Role of Human Capital," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.
    11. Yang, Guanyi, 2018. "Endogenous Skills and Labor Income Inequality," MPRA Paper 89638, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Seung Mo Choi, 2008. "How Large are Learning Externalities? Measurement by Calibration," Working Papers 2008-26, School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University.
    13. Blandin, Adam, 2018. "Learning by Doing and Ben-Porath: Life-cycle Predictions and Policy Implications," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 220-235.
    14. Mark Huggett & Gustavo Ventura & Amir Yaron, 2011. "Sources of Lifetime Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 2923-2954, December.
    15. Bowlus, Audra J. & Liu, Huju, 2013. "The contributions of search and human capital to earnings growth over the life cycle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 305-331.
    16. Audra Bowlus & Lance Lochner & Chris Robinson & Eda Suleymanoglu, 2021. "Wages, Skills, and Skill-Biased Technical Change: The Canonical Model Revisited," CESifo Working Paper Series 9212, CESifo.
    17. Robert Inklaar & Marianna Papakonstantinou, 2020. "Vintage Effects In Human Capital: Europe Versus The United States," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 66(1), pages 1-25, March.
    18. B. Ravikumar & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2017. "Why Are Life-Cycle Earnings Profiles Getting Flatter?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 99(3), pages 245-257.
    19. Burhanettin Kuruscu, 2006. "Training and Lifetime Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 832-846, June.
    20. Singh, Aarti, 2010. "Human capital risk in life-cycle economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(6), pages 729-738, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Demography; baby boom; aggregate productivity; productivity slowdown; human capital;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • 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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2018-037. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/frbslus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/frbslus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.