Mortality, Fertility, Education and Capital Accumulation in a Simple OLG Economy
We develop a simple overlapping generations model to analytically show that population aging leads to increased educational efforts through a general equilibrium effect. The key mechanism at work in the model is that scarcity of raw labor increases the rate of return to human capital relative to physical capital. While a reduction in the birth rate is shown to unambiguously increase educational efforts, increases in the survival rate have ambiguous effects. Falling birth rates unambiguously increase capital per worker while the effects of rising survival rates are ambiguous. When evaluating our model using a calibrated version we find that education always in- creases if life expectancy rises but the effect on the capital stock is still ambiguous and depends on the parameters of the model. We conclude that our model is a useful laboratory to highlight the various potentially offsetting effects at work in models with endogenous education and overlapping generations which is key for understanding the magnitudes of results of applied quantitative general equilibrium analyses employing such a framework.
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