IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/22310.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Macroeconomics, Aging and Growth

Author

Listed:
  • Ronald Lee

Abstract

Inevitable population aging and slower population growth will affect the economies of all nations in ways influenced by cultural values, institutional arrangements, and economic incentives. One outcome will be a tendency toward increased capital intensity, higher wages, and lower returns on capital, a tendency partially offset when the elderly are supported by public or private transfers rather than assets, and when economies are open, in which case aging will lead to increased flows of capital and labor. Rising human capital investment per child accompanies the falling fertility that drives population aging, and partially offsets slower labor force growth. Research to date finds little effect on technological progress or labor productivity. National differences in labor supply at older ages, per capita consumption of the elderly relative to younger ages, strength of public pension and health care systems, and health and vitality of the elderly all condition the impact of population aging on the economy. Policy responses include increasing the size of the labor force, mainly by raising the retirement age; reducing benefits and/or raising taxes for public transfer programs for the elderly, with concern for dead-weight loss and the fair distribution of costs across socioeconomic classes; investing more in children to increase the quality and productivity of the future labor force; and public programs that promote fertility by facilitating market work for women with children.

Suggested Citation

  • Ronald Lee, 2016. "Macroeconomics, Aging and Growth," NBER Working Papers 22310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22310
    Note: AG
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w22310.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Klaus Prettner, 2013. "Population aging and endogenous economic growth," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(2), pages 811-834, April.
    2. Alexander Ludwig & Edgar Vogel, 2010. "Mortality, fertility, education and capital accumulation in a simple OLG economy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(2), pages 703-735, March.
    3. Hippolyte d'Albis & Dalal Moosa, 2015. "Generational Economics and the National Transfer Accounts," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01305151, HAL.
    4. Gradstein, Mark & Kaganovich, Michael, 2004. "Aging population and education finance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2469-2485, December.
    5. Ronald Lee & Andrew Mason & Timothy Miller, 2003. "Saving, Wealth and the Transition from Transfers to Individual Responsibility: The Cases of Taiwan and the United States," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(3), pages 339-358, September.
    6. Krueger, Dirk & Ludwig, Alexander, 2007. "On the consequences of demographic change for rates of returns to capital, and the distribution of wealth and welfare," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 49-87, January.
    7. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Neil R. Mehrotra, 2014. "A Model of Secular Stagnation," NBER Working Papers 20574, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Vicki Freedman & Brenda Spillman & Patti Andreski & Jennifer Cornman & Eileen Crimmins & Ellen Kramarow & James Lubitz & Linda Martin & Sharon Merkin & Robert Schoeni & Teresa Seeman & Timothy Waidman, 2013. "Trends in Late-Life Activity Limitations in the United States: An Update From Five National Surveys," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(2), pages 661-671, April.
    9. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
    10. d'Albis, Hippolyte, 2007. "Demographic structure and capital accumulation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 411-434, January.
    11. Matteo Cervellati & Uwe Sunde, 2013. "Life Expectancy, Schooling, and Lifetime Labor Supply: Theory and Evidence Revisited," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(5), pages 2055-2086, September.
    12. Gary S. Becker & H. Gregg Lewis, 1974. "Interaction between Quantity and Quality of Children," NBER Chapters,in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 81-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Ronald Lee & Andrew Mason, 2010. "Some macroeconomic aspects of global population aging," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 47(1), pages 151-172, March.
    14. Axel Börsch‐Supan & Alexander Ludwig & Joachim Winter, 2006. "Ageing, Pension Reform and Capital Flows: A Multi‐Country Simulation Model," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(292), pages 625-658, November.
    15. Robert M. Solow, 1956. "A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 65-94.
    16. Andrew B. Abel, 2003. "The Effects of a Baby Boom on Stock Prices and Capital Accumulation in the Presence of Social Security," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(2), pages 551-578, March.
    17. Ronald D. Lee, 1994. "Population Age Structure, Intergenerational Transfer, and Wealth: A New Approach, with Applications to the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(4), pages 1027-1063.
    18. Hippolyte d’ALBIS & Dalal MOOSA, 2015. "Generational Economics and the National Transfer Accounts," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 81(4), pages 409-441, December.
    19. Heinrich Hock & David Weil, 2012. "On the dynamics of the age structure, dependency, and consumption," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(3), pages 1019-1043, July.
    20. Vegard Skirbekk, 2004. "Age and Individual Productivity: A Literature Survey," Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, vol. 2(1), pages 133-154.
    21. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka & Phillip Swagel, 2002. "The Aging Population and the Size of the Welfare State," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 900-918, August.
    22. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467-467.
    23. Zheng Liu & Mark M. Spiegel, 2011. "Boomer retirement: headwinds for U.S. equity markets?," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue aug22.
    24. Lawrence H. Summers, 2015. "Demand Side Secular Stagnation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(5), pages 60-65, May.
    25. Fujita, Shigeru, 2014. "On the causes of declines in the labor force participation rate," Research Rap Special Report, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Feb.
    26. repec:kap:itaxpf:v:24:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10797-017-9462-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    27. Pekkarinen, Tuomas & Uusitalo, Roope, 2012. "Aging and Productivity: Evidence from Piece Rates," IZA Discussion Papers 6909, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    28. Andrew Mason & Ronald Lee, 2007. "Transfers, Capital and Consumption Over the Demographic Transition," Chapters,in: Population Aging, Intergenerational Transfers and the Macroeconomy, chapter 6 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    29. Heinrich Hock & David N. Weil, 2007. "Modeling the Effects of Population Aging on Consumption in the Presence of Intergenerational Transfers," Chapters,in: Population Aging, Intergenerational Transfers and the Macroeconomy, chapter 5 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    30. Alexander Ludwig & Thomas Schelkle & Edgar Vogel, 2012. "Demographic Change, Human Capital and Welfare," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(1), pages 94-107, January.
    31. Ben J. Heijdra & Laurie S. M. Reijnders, 2016. "Human Capital Accumulation and the Macroeconomy in an Ageing Society," De Economist, Springer, vol. 164(3), pages 297-334, September.
    32. Arrondel, Luc & Masson, Andre, 2006. "Altruism, exchange or indirect reciprocity: what do the data on family transfers show?," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
    33. Douglas W. Elmendorf & Louise M. Sheiner, 2000. "Should America Save for Its Old Age? Fiscal Policy, Population Aging, and National Saving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 57-74, Summer.
    34. Richard Baldwin & Masahiro Kawai & Ganeshan Wignaraja, 2014. "Introduction and overview," Chapters,in: A World Trade Organization for the 21st Century, chapter 1, pages 1-11 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    35. Francesco Lancia & Giovanni Prarolo, 2012. "A politico-economic model of aging, technology adoption and growth," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(3), pages 989-1018, July.
    36. Robert J. Gordon, 2015. "Secular Stagnation: A Supply-Side View," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(5), pages 54-59, May.
    37. Calvo, Guillermo A & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1988. "Optimal Time-Consistent Fiscal Policy with Finite Lifetimes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 411-432, March.
    38. Antoine Bommier & Ronald Lee & Tim Miller & Stéphane Zuber, 2010. "Who Wins and Who Loses? Public Transfer Accounts for US Generations Born 1850 to 2090," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 36(1), pages 1-26, March.
    39. Fogel,Robert William, 2004. "The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, 1700–2100," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521004886.
    40. Ronald Lee, 2003. "The Demographic Transition: Three Centuries of Fundamental Change," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 167-190, Fall.
    41. Barry Eichengreen, 2015. "Secular Stagnation: The Long View," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(5), pages 66-70, May.
    42. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "The Family and the State," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 1-18, April.
    43. Author-Name: John Geanakoplos & Michael Magill & Martine Quinzii, 2004. "Demography and the Long-Run Predictability of the Stock Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 35(1), pages 241-326.
    44. Luiz Mello & Simone Schotte & Erwin R. Tiongson & Hernan Winkler, 2017. "Greying the Budget: Ageing and Preferences over Public Policies," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(1), pages 70-96, February.
    45. Angus S. Deaton & Christina Paxson, 1994. "Saving, Growth, and Aging in Taiwan," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in the Economics of Aging, pages 331-362, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    46. David M. Cutler & James M. Poterba & Louise M. Sheiner & Lawrence H. Summers, 1990. "An Aging Society: Opportunity or Challenge?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 21(1), pages 1-74.
    47. Ronald Lee & Andrew Mason (ed.), 2011. "Population Aging and the Generational Economy," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 13816.
    48. Samuelson, Paul A, 1975. "Optimum Social Security in a Life-Cycle Growth Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 16(3), pages 539-544, October.
    49. Ronald Lee & Shripad Tuljapurkar, 1997. "Death and Taxes: Longer life, consumption, and social security," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 34(1), pages 67-81, February.
    50. Samuelson, Paul A, 1975. "The Optimum Growth Rate for Population," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 16(3), pages 531-538, October.
    51. Hans Fehr & Sabine Jokisch & Laurence Kotlikoff, 2004. "Fertility, Mortality, and the Developed World’s Demographic Transition," CESifo Working Paper Series 1326, CESifo Group Munich.
    52. Karen N. Eggleston & Victor R. Fuchs, 2012. "The New Demographic Transition: Most Gains in Life Expectancy Now Realized Late in Life," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 137-156, Summer.
    53. Deardorff, Alan V, 1976. "The Optimum Growth Rate for Population: Comment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 17(2), pages 510-515, June.
    54. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Summers, Lawrence H, 1981. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 706-732, August.
    55. repec:eee:joecag:v:1-2:y:2013:i::p:16-27 is not listed on IDEAS
    56. Fehr, Hans & Jokisch, Sabine & Kotlikoff, Laurence J., 2008. "Fertility, mortality and the developed world's demographic transition," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 455-473.
    57. Ben J. Heijdra & Laurie S. M. Reijnders, 2012. "Human Capital Accumulation and the Macroeconomy in an Ageing Society," CESifo Working Paper Series 4046, CESifo Group Munich.
    58. ., 2014. "Introduction to Part III," Chapters,in: Common Innovation, chapter 15, pages 133-134 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    59. Antoine Bommier & Ronald D. Lee, 2003. "Overlapping generations models with realistic demography," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 16(1), pages 135-160, February.
    60. Alexander Ludwig & Thomas Schelkle & Edgar Vogel, 2012. "Demographic Change, Human Capital and Welfare," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(1), pages 94-107, January.
    61. Julie L. Hotchkiss, 2009. "Changes in the aggregate labor force participation rate," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    62. James M. Poterba, 2001. "Demographic Structure And Asset Returns," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 565-584, November.
    63. Andrew Mason & Ronald Lee, 2011. "Population aging and the generational economy: key findings," Chapters,in: Population Aging and the Generational Economy, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    64. Douglas W. Elmendorf & Louise Sheiner, 2000. "Should America save for its old age? Population aging, national saving, and fiscal policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-03, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US).
    65. ., 2014. "Introduction: status, superstars and markets," Chapters,in: The Political Economy of Status, chapter 1, pages 1-13 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    66. Ronald Lee & Gretchen Donehower, 2011. "Private transfers in comparative perspective," Chapters,in: Population Aging and the Generational Economy, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    67. Andrew B. Abel, 2001. "Will Bequests Attenuate The Predicted Meltdown In Stock Prices When Baby Boomers Retire?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 589-595, November.
    68. Samuelson, Paul A, 1976. "The Optimum Growth Rate for Population: Agreement and Evaluations," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 17(2), pages 516-525, June.
    69. Mathias Dolls & Karina Doorley & Alari Paulus & Hilmar Schneider & Sebastian Siegloch & Eric Sommer, 2017. "Fiscal sustainability and demographic change: a micro-approach for 27 EU countries," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 24(4), pages 575-615, August.
    70. Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, 1988. "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(1), pages 1-25.
    71. Miguel Sánchez-Romero & Concepció Patxot & Elisenda Rentería & Guadalupe Souto, 2013. "On the effects of public and private transfers on capital accumulation: some lessons from the NTA aggregates," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(4), pages 1409-1430, October.
    72. Miguel Sánchez-Romero, 2013. "The role of demography on per capita output growth and saving rates," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(4), pages 1347-1377, October.
    73. Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-546, June.
    74. Arthur, W Brian & McNicoll, Geoffrey, 1978. "Samuelson, Population and Intergenerational Transfers," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 19(1), pages 241-246, February.
    75. Louise Sheiner & Daniel E. Sichel & Lawrence Slifman, 2007. "A primer on the macroeconomic implications of population aging," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-01, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US).
    76. Ronald Lee & A. Mason & E. Amporfu & C.-B. An & L. R. Bixby & J. Bravo & M. Bucheli & Q. Chen & P. Comelatto & D. Coy & Hippolyte d'Albis & G. Donehower & L. Dramani & A. Furnkranz-Prskawetz & R. I. G, 2014. "Is low fertility really a problem? Population aging, dependency, and consumption," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01075298, HAL.
    77. Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1967. "Intertemporal Distribution and 'Optimal' Aggregate Economic Growth," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 228, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    78. repec:fth:harver:1490 is not listed on IDEAS
    79. Julie L. Hotchkiss, 2009. "Decomposing changes in the aggregate labor force participation rate," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2009-06, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    80. Robin Brooks, 2006. "Demographic Change and Asset Prices," RBA Annual Conference Volume (Discontinued),in: Christopher Kent & Anna Park & Daniel Rees (ed.), Demography and Financial Markets Reserve Bank of Australia.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22310. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.