Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

H. Luke Shaefer and colleagues argue for a universal child allowance

Hindustan Times points out high value of H-1B visas for US innovation, welfare, and tech firm profits

Novak, Geronimus, Martinez-Cardoso: Threat of deportation harmful to immigrants' health

More News

Highlights

Heather Ann Thompson wins Pulitzer Prize for book on Attica uprising

Lam explores dimensions of the projected 4 billion increase in world population before 2100

ISR's Nick Prieur wins UMOR award for exceptional contribution to U-M's research mission

How effectively can these nations handle outside investments in health R&D?

More Highlights

Next Brown Bag

Mon, April 10, 2017, noon:
Elizabeth Bruch

David Lam photo

Population Growth, Age Structure, and Age-Specific Productivity

Publication Abstract

Lam, David. 1989. "Population Growth, Age Structure, and Age-Specific Productivity." Journal of Population Economics, 2: 189-210.

Motivated by empirical evidence that fluctuations in age structure affect relative wages across age groups, this paper asks whether there is a steady-state age distribution that maximizes the lifetime wages of a representative worker. The paper proves the surprising result that in a pure labor economy with any constant returns technology, a uniform age distribution minimizes lifetime wages. Skewed age distributions, generated by either positive or negative population growth rates, generate unambiguously higher lifetime wages than a stationary population, in spite of possible reductions in per capita output in every period. The presence of non-labor factors complicates, but does not necessarily reverse, this result. The paper relates the beneficial effects of higher rates of population growth on lifetime wages in the pure labor economy with imperfect substitutability across age groups to the benefits of population growth that appear in overlapping-generationn consumption loan models with intergenerational transfers.

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next