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Imitation Versus Innovation In An Aging Society: International Evidence Since 1870

  • James B. Ang
  • Jakob B. Madsen

The budgetary implications of an aging population in the OECD are often considered dire. This study argues that this need not be the case provided that older educated workers are more innovative than their younger counterparts, and that workers with tertiary education stay in the labor force until their 60s. Using a panel of 21 OECD countries over the period 1870-2009, this paper estimates the productivity growth effects of education for different age groups, through the channels of innovation and imitation. The results show that educated workers are highly innovative and that the propensity to innovate increases sharply with age.

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Paper provided by Monash University, Department of Economics in its series Monash Economics Working Papers with number 45-12.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mos:moswps:2012-45
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Monash University, Victoria 3800, Australia
Phone: +61-3-9905-2493
Fax: +61-3-9905-5476
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  1. Madsen, Jakob B., 2007. "Technology spillover through trade and TFP convergence: 135 years of evidence for the OECD countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 464-480, July.
  2. Madsen, Jakob B. & Saxena, Shishir & Ang, James B., 2010. "The Indian growth miracle and endogenous growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 37-48, September.
  3. Thomas Lindh & Bo Malmberg, 1999. "Age structure effects and growth in the OECD, 1950-1990," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 431-449.
  4. Aghion, Philippe & Meghir, Costas & Vandenbussche, Jérôme, 2005. "Growth, Distance to Frontier and Composition of Human Capital," CEPR Discussion Papers 4860, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Jakob Madsen & James Ang & Rajabrata Banerjee, 2010. "Four centuries of British economic growth: the roles of technology and population," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 263-290, December.
  6. Rachel Griffith & Stephen Redding & John Van Reenen, 2004. "Mapping the Two Faces of R&D: Productivity Growth in a Panel of OECD Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 883-895, November.
  7. Frank Lichtenberg, 2010. "The Contribution of Pharmaceutical Innovation to Longevity Growth in Germany and France," CESifo Working Paper Series 3095, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Jakob B. Madsen, 2009. "Trade Barriers, Openness, and Economic Growth," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 397-418, October.
  9. Mazzonna, Fabrizio & Peracchi, Franco, 2012. "Ageing, cognitive abilities and retirement," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 691-710.
  10. Wolfgang Keller, 2001. "International Technology Diffusion," NBER Working Papers 8573, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. M Arellano & O Bover, 1990. "Another Look at the Instrumental Variable Estimation of Error-Components Models," CEP Discussion Papers dp0007, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  12. James B. Ang & Jakob B. Madsen, 2011. "Can Second-Generation Endogenous Growth Models Explain the Productivity Trends and Knowledge Production in the Asian Miracle Economies?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 1360-1373, November.
  13. Hellerstein, Judith K & Neumark, David & Troske, Kenneth R, 1999. "Wages, Productivity, and Worker Characteristics: Evidence from Plant-Level Production Functions and Wage Equations," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(3), pages 409-46, July.
  14. Benjamin F. Jones, 2005. "The burden of knowledge and the ‘death of the Renaissance man’: Is innovation getting harder?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  15. Dowrick, Steve & Nguyen, Duc-Tho, 1989. "OECD Comparative Economic Growth 1950-85: Catch-Up and Convergence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1010-30, December.
  16. repec:bla:restud:v:58:y:1991:i:2:p:277-97 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Hercowitz, Zvi, 1998. "The 'embodiment' controversy: A review essay," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 217-224, February.
  18. Giuri, Paola & Mariani, Myriam, 2007. "Inventors and invention processes in Europe: Results from the PatVal-EU survey," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 1105-1106, October.
  19. Jakob Madsen, 2008. "Semi-endogenous versus Schumpeterian growth models: testing the knowledge production function using international data," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 1-26, March.
  20. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
  21. Klaus Prettner, 2011. "Population aging and endogenous economic growth," PGDA Working Papers 7211, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
  22. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Endogenous Technological Change," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2135, David K. Levine.
  23. Vamvakidis, Athanasios, 2002. " How Robust Is the Growth-Openness Connection? Historical Evidence," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 57-80, March.
  24. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark, 1995. "Are Earnings Profiles Steeper Than Productivity Profiles? Evidence from Israeli Firm-Level Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 89-112.
  25. James B. Ang & Jakob B. Madsen, 2012. "International R&D Spillovers And Productivity Trends In The Asian Miracle Economies," Monash Economics Working Papers 03-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  26. Vegard Skirbekk, 2003. "Age and individual productivity: a literature survey," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2003-028, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  27. Bartel, Ann P & Lichtenberg, Frank R, 1987. "The Comparative Advantage of Educated Workers in Implementing New Technology," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(1), pages 1-11, February.
  28. Benjamin F. Jones, 2010. "Age and Great Invention," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 1-14, February.
  29. Jérôme Vandenbussche & Philippe Aghion & Costas Meghir, 2006. "Growth, distance to frontier and composition of human capital," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 97-127, June.
  30. James Feyrer, 2007. "Demographics and Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 100-109, February.
  31. Ang, James B. & Madsen, Jakob B. & Rabiul Islam, Md., 2011. "The effects of human capital composition on technological convergence," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 465-476, September.
  32. Madsen, Jakob B., 2010. "The anatomy of growth in the OECD since 1870," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(6), pages 753-767, September.
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