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Population Aging and the Demand for Goods & Services

  • Melanie Lührmann

    ()

    (Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA))

This paper analyzes the macroeconomic effect of population aging on the aggregate demand for goods and services between 2000 and 2040. As the composition of goods and services consumed varies over the life cycle, the aggregate demand structure is likely to change as well when the population is aging. I estimate these microeconomic age-specific household demands for a set of eight composite goods using a quadratic almost ideal demand system model. The projections are carried out in scenarios in order to distinguish: i) the direct effect of a shift of the age structure, ii) accompanying changes in the level and distribution of spending power and in household composition. The results point to significant increases in the expenditure shares of health and leisure goods and a decline in necessities like food and energy in all scenarios. The direct effect of a shift in the age structure as well as the asymmetric intergenerational distribution of spending power have significant effects on aggregate demand. Changes in household composition – decreasing average household size, but a slow reduction in the number of households – do not affect demand substantially. The future design of the pension system has only a minor impact on the distribution of incomes and total expenditures and thus also a negligible impact on aggregate demand.

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Paper provided by Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy in its series MEA discussion paper series with number 05095.

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Date of creation: 24 Nov 2005
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Handle: RePEc:mea:meawpa:05095
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  1. Shelly Lundberg & Richard Startz & Steven Stillman, 2001. "The Retirement-Consumption Puzzle: A Marital Bargaining Approach," Working Papers 01-04, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  2. Deaton, A. & Paxson, C., 1993. "Intertemporal Choice and Inequality," Papers 168, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  3. Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1984. "Consumption during Retirement: The Missing Link in the Life Cycle," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(1), pages 1-7, February.
  4. James Banks & Richard Blundell & Sarah Tanner, 1995. "Is there a retirement-savings puzzle?," IFS Working Papers W95/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  5. James Banks & Richard Blundell & Arthur Lewbel, 1997. "Quadratic Engel Curves And Consumer Demand," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 527-539, November.
  6. Blundell, Richard & Pashardes, Panos & Weber, Guglielmo, 1993. "What Do We Learn About Consumer Demand Patterns from Micro Data?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 570-97, June.
  7. Michael Hurd & Susann Rohwedder, 2003. "The Retirement-Consumption Puzzle: Anticipated and Actual Declines in Spending at Retirement," NBER Working Papers 9586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Blundell, Richard, 1988. "Consumer Behaviour: Theory and Empirical Evidence--a Survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(389), pages 16-65, March.
  9. Blundell, Richard & Browning, Martin & Meghir, Costas, 1994. "Consumer Demand and the Life-Cycle Allocation of Household Expenditures," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 57-80, January.
  10. Blundell, Richard & Walker, Ian, 1986. "A Life-Cycle Consistent Empirical Model of Family Labour Supply Using Cross-Section Data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 539-58, August.
  11. Raffaele Miniaci & Chiara Monfardini & Guglielmo Weber, 2003. "Is there a retirement consumption puzzle in Italy?," IFS Working Papers W03/14, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  12. Axel Börsch-Supan, 2003. "Labor Market Effects of Population Aging," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 17(SpecialIs), pages 5-44, 08.
  13. Deaton, Angus, 1986. "Demand analysis," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1767-1839 Elsevier.
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