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Mortality, Fertility, Education and Capital Accumulation in a Simple OLG Economy

  • Alexander Ludwig

    ()

  • Edgar Vogel

    ()

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

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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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 09179.

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Date of creation: 20 Apr 2009
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Handle: RePEc:mea:meawpa:09179
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  1. Gary D. Hansen & Selahattin Imrohoroglu, 2006. "Consumption Over the Life Cycle: The Role of Annuities," NBER Working Papers 12341, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. David M. Cutler & Angus S. Deaton & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2006. "The Determinants of Mortality," NBER Working Papers 11963, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Boucekkine, Raouf & de la Croix, David & Licandro, Omar, 2000. "Vintage Human Capital, Demographic Trends and Endogenous Growth," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2000007, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  4. Fougere, Maxime & Merette, Marcel, 1999. "Population ageing and economic growth in seven OECD countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 411-427, August.
  5. Zhang, Junsen & Zhang, Jie & Lee, Ronald, 2001. "Mortality decline and long-run economic growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 485-507, June.
  6. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem & Ryder, Harl E. & Weil, David N., 2000. "Mortality decline, human capital investment, and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 1-23, June.
  7. Martin Browning & Lars Peter Hansen & James J. Heckman, 1999. "Micro Data and General Equilibrium Models," Discussion Papers 99-10, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  8. Ludwig, Alexander & Schelkle, Thomas & Vogel, Edgar, 2010. "Demographic Change, Human Capital and Welfare," MEA discussion paper series 10196, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  9. Heijdra, Ben J. & Romp, Ward E., 2009. "Human capital formation and macroeconomic performance in an ageing small open economy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 725-744, March.
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