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Fiscal policy, employment by age, and growth in OECD economies

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  • F. HEYLEN

    ()

  • R. VAN DE KERCKHOVE

    ()

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Abstract

We build and parameterize a general equilibrium OLG model for an open economy to study hours of work in three age groups, education of the young, and aggregate per capita growth. The composition of fiscal policy plays a crucial role. The government sets tax rates on labor, capital and consumption. It allocates its revenue to productive expenditures (mainly for education), consumption and ‘non-employment’ benefits. Labor taxes and benefits may differ across age groups. We find that our model’s predictions match the facts remarkably well for all key variables in many OECD countries. We then use the model to investigate the effects of various fiscal policy shocks on employment by age and growth, as well as on welfare of current and future generations. We identify ‘non-employment’ benefits and labor taxes as the main policy variables affecting employment. Productive government expenditures are the most effective with respect to long-run output and growth. Long-run output and growth may benefit also from labor tax cuts targeted at older workers. Considering welfare effects, however, these policy measures may not be the ones preferred most by current generations.

Suggested Citation

  • F. Heylen & R. Van De Kerckhove & -, 2009. "Fiscal policy, employment by age, and growth in OECD economies," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 09/623, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  • Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:09/623
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    File URL: http://wps-feb.ugent.be/Papers/wp_09_623.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Frederick Van der Ploeg, 2003. "Do Social Policies Harm Employment and Growth?," CESifo Working Paper Series 886, CESifo.
    2. Fougère, Maxime & Harvey, Simon & Mercenier, Jean & Mérette, Marcel, 2009. "Population ageing, time allocation and human capital: A general equilibrium analysis for Canada," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 30-39, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tim Buyse & Freddy Heylen & Renaat Van de Kerckhove, 2013. "Pension reform, employment by age, and long-run growth," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(2), pages 769-809, April.
    2. T. Buyse & F. Heylen & R. Van De Kerckhove, 2011. "Pension reform, employment by age, and long-run growth in OECD countries," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 11/719, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    3. Buyse, Tim & Heylen, Freddy & Van De Kerckhove, Renaat, 2017. "Pension reform in an OLG model with heterogeneous abilities," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 144-172, April.
    4. T. Buyse & F. Heylen, 2012. "Leaving the empirical (battle)ground: Output and welfare effects of fiscal consolidation in general equilibrium," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 12/826, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    5. R. Schoonackers & F. Heylen, 2011. "Fiscal Policy and TFP in the OECD: A Non-Stationary Panel Approach," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 11/701, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    employment by age; endogenous growth; fiscal policy; overlapping generations;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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