Age Structure, Education and Economic Growth

Jesus Cuaresma Crespo, Vienna University of Economics and Business
Wolfgang Lutz, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Warren C. Sanderson, Stony Brook University, State University of New York (SUNY)

The effect of changes in age structure on economic growth has been widely studied in the demography and population economics literature. The beneficial effect of changes in age structure after a decrease in fertility has become known as the demographic dividend. In this paper we first present the motivation for also explicitly addressing changes in education in addition to and age structure and then reassess the empirical evidence on the associations among economic growth, changes in age structure, labor force participation and new data on educational attainment. Using a global panel of countries, we find that once the effect of human capital dynamics is controlled for there is no evidence that changes in age structure affect labor productivity. Our results imply that improvements in educational attainment are not only drivers of fertility decline and hence age structural changes but are also key to explaining productivity and income growth

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Presented in Session 46: Educational Achievement and Attainment