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Gerontocracy in Motion? – European Cross-Country Evidence on the Labor Market Consequences of Population Ageing

  • Michael Fertig

    ()

  • Christoph M. Schmidt

    ()

Taking a European cross-country perspective, this paper addresses the most important issues in the nexus of population ageing and labor markets.We start from a descriptive overview of the demographic change currently shaping European societies.The subsequent section intensively discusses the potential consequences of these demographic processes for and interdependencies with the labor market situation in Europe.We place particular emphasis on the issue of non-competitive wage setting. In our empirical application we demonstrate that moderately large birth cohorts seem to experience lower employment rates, but also that education investments might be able to mitigate these consequences, and that the relative economic success of large cohorts might even be disproportionately positive. Finally, in the concluding section we review possible policy options for coping with the consequences of population ageing.

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Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung in its series RWI Discussion Papers with number 0008.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:dpaper:0008
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  1. Richard B. Freeman, 1979. "The Effect of Demographic Factors on Age-Earnings Profiles," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(3), pages 289-318.
  2. Finis Welch, 1979. "Effects of Cohort Size on Earnings: The Baby Boom Babies' Financial Bust," UCLA Economics Working Papers 146, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Wright, Robert E, 1991. "Cohort Size and Earnings in Great Britain," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 295-305, November.
  4. Andrew B. Abel, 2001. "Will bequests attenuate the predicted meltdown in stock prices when baby boomers retire?," Working Papers 01-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  5. Dahlberg, Susanne & Nahum, Ruth-Aïda, 2003. "Cohort Effects on Earnings Profiles: Evidence from Sweden," Arbetsrapport 2003:3, Institute for Futures Studies.
  6. James M. Poterba, 2001. "Demographic Structure And Asset Returns," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 565-584, November.
  7. Stapleton, David C & Young, Douglas J, 1988. "Educational Attainment and Cohort Size," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(3), pages 330-61, July.
  8. Robert Shimer, 2001. "The Impact of Young Workers on the Aggregate Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 969-1007.
  9. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Directed Technical Change," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 781-809.
  10. Connelly, Rachel & Gottschalk, Peter, 1995. "The Effect of Cohort Composition on Human Capital Accumulation across Generations," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 155-76, January.
  11. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
  12. Welch, Finis, 1979. "Effects of Cohort Size on Earnings: The Baby Boom Babies' Financial Bust," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages S65-97, October.
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