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The Impact of Demographic Change on Human Capital Accumulation

  • Christoph M. Schmidt

    ()

  • Michael Fertig
  • Mathias G. Sinning

This paper investigates whether and to what extent demographic change has an impact on human capital accumulation. The effect of the relative cohort size on educational attainment of young adults in Germany is analyzed utilizing data from the German Socio-Economic Panel forWest-German individuals of the birth cohorts 1966 to 1986. These are the cohorts which entered the labor market since the 1980’s. Particular attention is paid to the effect of changes in labor market conditions, which constitute an important channel through which demographic change may affect human capital accumulation. Our findings suggest that the variables measuring demographic change exert a considerable though heterogeneous impact on the human capital accumulation of young Germans. Changing labor market conditions during the 1980’s and 1990’s exhibit a sizeable impact on both the highest schooling and the highest professional degree obtained by younger cohorts.

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Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen in its series Ruhr Economic Papers with number 0107.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: May 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0107
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  1. 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.
  2. Fertig, Michael & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2003. "Gerontocracy in Motion? European Cross-Country Evidence on the Labor Market Consequences of Population Ageing," IZA Discussion Papers 956, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Jochen Kluve & Christoph M. Schmidt, 2002. "Can training and employment subsidies combat European unemployment?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 409-448, October.
  4. 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.
  5. Ludger Woessmann, 2004. "How Equal Are Educational Opportunities? Family Background and Student Achievement in Europe and the United States," CESifo Working Paper Series 1162, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Klevmarken, N Anders, 1993. "Demographics and the Dynamics of Earnings," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 105-22, May.
  7. Rachel Connelly, 1986. "A Framework for Analyzing the Impact of Cohort Size on Education and Labor Earning," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(4), pages 543-562.
  8. Finis Welch, 1979. "Effects of Cohort Size on Earnings: The Baby Boom Babies' Financial Bust," UCLA Economics Working Papers 146, UCLA Department of Economics.
  9. Fertig, Michael, 2003. "Who's to Blame? The Determinants of German Students' Achievement in the PISA 2000 Study," IZA Discussion Papers 739, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Clark, Damon, 2002. "The Impact of Local Labour Market Conditions on Participation in Further Education in England," IZA Discussion Papers 550, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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