The Effect of Population Aging on the Aggregate Labor Market

Bruce Fallick, Charles Fleischman and Jonathan Pingle

in Labor in the New Economy

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780226001432
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226001463 | DOI:
The Effect of Population Aging on the Aggregate Labor Market

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This chapter examines the effect of population aging on the aggregate labor market. It describes the direct implications of the shifting population age distribution for several labor market measures: the unemployment rate, the participation rate, gross labor force flows, and wage rates. It was found that the largest effects on the aggregate labor force participation rate are yet to come, while the effects on the unemployment rate have mostly run their course. In addition, the movement of the baby boomers into the high-earnings age groups has pushed up mean wages and changed the average flows though labor market states only modestly. The changes in behavior within age groups may offset some of the influence of the shifting age shares. The aging of the baby boomers, increased longevity, and other forces influencing the age distribution have been and are likely to remain important determinants of labor market statistics.

Keywords: population aging; labor market; unemployment; baby boomers; wages

Chapter.  14475 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Microeconomics

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