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How Could Germany Escape the Demographic Trap?

Author

Listed:
  • Kahlenberg, Christoph

    () (Randstad)

  • Spermann, Alexander

    () (University of Freiburg)

Abstract

Demographic change is perceived as a threat for wealth rather than a challenge in Germany. The debate on skilled labor shortage is a proof for this view. The paper surveys the most important German studies on skilled labor shortage. Meanwhile, a consensus on solutions has emerged in academia. Increasing the participation rates of elderly, women and facilitating qualified immigration as well as improving productivity are the mainstream recommendations. The paper provides descriptive statistical evidence that temporary agency work could contribute to solve the skilled labor shortage problem via these four channels. However, it is far from clear that productivity increases are the most important and most sustainable way out of the demographic trap. Against this background the government's demographic strategy is assessed. It turns out that the government has not a coherent strategy yet to solve the demographic issues ahead.

Suggested Citation

  • Kahlenberg, Christoph & Spermann, Alexander, 2012. "How Could Germany Escape the Demographic Trap?," IZA Policy Papers 48, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izapps:pp48
    as

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    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/pp48.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Heckman, James J. & Kautz, Tim, 2012. "Hard evidence on soft skills," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 451-464.
    2. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt, 2009. "The Economics of Growth," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262012634, January.
    3. Spermann, Alexander, 2011. "The New Role of Temporary Agency Work in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 6180, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Kappler, Marcus & Bonin, Holger & Sachs, Andreas, 2011. "Forschungsbericht "Wertschöpfungseffekte der Fachkräftesicherung"," ZEW Expertises, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research, number 110533.
    5. Alexandra Spitz-Oener, 2006. "Technical Change, Job Tasks, and Rising Educational Demands: Looking outside the Wage Structure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 235-270, April.
    6. Karl Brenke, 2010. "Fachkräftemangel kurzfristig noch nicht in Sicht," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 77(46), pages 2-15.
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    Cited by:

    1. Geyer, Johannes & Haan, Peter & Korfhage, Thorben, 2015. "Indirect fiscal effects of long-term care insurance," Ruhr Economic Papers 584, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    demography in Germany; qualification; training; temporary agency work;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J4 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets

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