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A simulation model for the demographic transition in the OECD: Data requirements, model structure and calibration


  • Fehr, Hans
  • Halder, Gitte
  • Jokisch, Sabine
  • Kotlikoff, Laurence J.


The developed world stands at the fore of a phenomenal demographic transition. Over the next 30 years the number of elderly in the OECD countries will more than double. At the same time, the number of workers available to pay the elderly their government-guaranteed pension and health care benefits will rise by less than 10 percent. These two demographic trends are expected to put enormous pressure on social security systems and government expenses. To address the consequences of the aging process, this paper develops a dynamic, intergenerational, and interregional demographic life-cycle model. The model has three regions - the U.S., the EU and Japan - which exchange goods and capital. The model features immigration, age-specific fertility, life span extension, life span uncertainty, bequests arising from incomplete annuitization, and intra-cohort heterogeneity. After introducing the theoretical model, we simulate the transition path for the three considered regions keeping current immigration constant, assuming the projected increase in life expectancy and the continuation of current social security and health care policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Fehr, Hans & Halder, Gitte & Jokisch, Sabine & Kotlikoff, Laurence J., 2003. "A simulation model for the demographic transition in the OECD: Data requirements, model structure and calibration," W.E.P. - Würzburg Economic Papers 45, University of Würzburg, Chair for Monetary Policy and International Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wuewep:45

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Isabelle Joumard, 2003. "Tax systems in European Union countries," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2002(1), pages 91-151.
    2. David Altig, 2001. "Simulating Fundamental Tax Reform in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 574-595, June.
    3. Whitehouse, Edward, 2001. "Pension systems in 15 countries compared: the value of entitlements," MPRA Paper 14751, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Fehr, Hans, 1999. "Welfare Effects of Dynamic Tax Reforms," Beiträge zur Finanzwissenschaft, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, edition 1, volume 5, number urn:isbn:9783161470165.
    5. Beetsma, Roel & Bettendorf, Leon & Broer, Peter, 2003. "The budgeting and economic consequences of ageing in the Netherlands," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 987-1013, September.
    6. Fehr, Hans, 2000. " Pension Reform during the Demographic Transition," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(3), pages 419-443, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hans Fehr & Sabine Jokisch & Laurence J Kotlikoff, 2006. "Will China Eat Our Lunch or Take Us to Dinner? Simulating the Transition Paths of the US, EU, Japan and China," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Christopher Kent & Anna Park & Daniel Rees (ed.), Demography and Financial Markets Reserve Bank of Australia.
    2. Jokisch, Sabine & Kotlikoff, Laurence J., 2007. "Simulating the Dynamic Macroeconomic and Microeconomic Effects of the FairTax," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 60(2), pages 225-252, June.
    3. Hans Fehr & Sabine Jokisch & Laurence Kotlikoff, 2004. "Fertility, Mortality, and the Developed World’s Demographic Transition," CESifo Working Paper Series 1326, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Simon Gilchrist & Fabio M. Natalucci & Egon Zakrajsek, 2007. "Investment and the Cost of Capital: New Evidence from the Corporate Bond Market," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2007-027, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    5. Peichl, Andreas, 2005. "Die Evaluation von Steuerreformen durch Simulationsmodelle," FiFo Discussion Papers - Finanzwissenschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 05-1, University of Cologne, FiFo Institute for Public Economics.
    6. Jokisch, Sabine & Halder, Gitte & Fehr, Hans, 2004. "A Simulation Model for the Demographic Transition in Germany: Data Requirements, Model Structure and Calibration," W.E.P. - Würzburg Economic Papers 48, University of Würzburg, Chair for Monetary Policy and International Economics.
    7. Hans Fehr & Sabine Jokisch & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 2005. "Will China Eat Our Lunch or Take Us Out to Dinner? Simulating the Transition Paths of the U.S., EU, Japan, and China," NBER Working Papers 11668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item


    Demographic transition; overlapping generations (OLG); computable general equilibrium models (CGE);

    JEL classification:

    • H0 - Public Economics - - General


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