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Demographic effects on the German labour supply : a decomposition analysis


  • Fuchs, Johann

    () (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])

  • Söhnlein, Doris

    () (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])

  • Weber, Brigitte

    () (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])


"Forecasts show a substantially decreasing and ageing labour force in Germany. This paper provides a decomposition of the projected change in the overall labour force into three parts. The first, called the 'demographic component', shows the effects of fertility, mortality and a changing age structure of the population. The second effect is the migration component. This part is due to the cumulative net inflow of migrants, but includes their reproductive behaviour as well. Changes in the participation rates give the third effect, the participation component. The decomposition was conducted by comparing different labour force scenarios until 2050. The method can easily be extended for decomposition into more than three factors. Not surprisingly, the downward trend in the labour force is attributable only to population effects. Ageing of the baby-boom generation and low birth rates both are the responsible factors behind. Neither a strong increase in labour force participation nor large immigration flows can halt this trend in the labour force. As the age structure is almost given and increasing fertility rates only have positive effects in the very long run, the projected decline in the labour force should be taken as a fact." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))

Suggested Citation

  • Fuchs, Johann & Söhnlein, Doris & Weber, Brigitte, 2008. "Demographic effects on the German labour supply : a decomposition analysis," IAB Discussion Paper 200831, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  • Handle: RePEc:iab:iabdpa:200831

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Berg, Peter B. & Hamman, Mary K. & Piszczek, Matthew & Ruhm, Christopher J., 2015. "Can Policy Facilitate Partial Retirement? Evidence from Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 9266, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Christian Dudel, 2009. "The Demographic Dilemma: Fertility, Female Labor Force Participation and Future Growth in Germany 2007-2060," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 158, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    3. Bruckmeier, Kerstin & Graf, Tobias & Rudolph, Helmut, 2008. "Working poor: Arm oder bedürftig? : eine Analyse zur Erwerbstätigkeit in der SGB-II-Grundsicherung mit Verwaltungsdaten," IAB Discussion Paper 200834, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].

    More about this item


    Arbeitskräfteangebot - Prognose; Erwerbspersonenpotenzial - Determinanten; demografischer Wandel; Migration - Auswirkungen; Erwerbsverhalten; Geschlechterverteilung;

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

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