Job Polarization and the Natural Rate of Unemployment in the United States
I present a new estimate of the natural rate of unemployment in the United States that accounts for changes in the age, sex, and skill composition of the labor force. Using micro-level data from the Current Population Survey for the period 1994-2017, I find that the natural rate of unemployment declined by 0.5 percentage point since 1994 and currently stands at 4.5 percent. My projections show that ongoing demographic and technological changes could lower the trend rate further to 4.4 percent by the end of 2022.
Demographic Transition, Industrial Policies and Chinese Economic Growth
We build a unified framework to quantitatively examine the demographic transition and industrial policies in contributing to China’s economic growth between 1976 and 2015. We find that the demographic transition and industrial policy changes by themselves account for a large fraction of the rise in household and corporate savings relative to total output and the rise in the country’s per capita output growth. Importantly, their interactions also lead to a sizable fraction of the increases in savings since the late 1980s and reduce growth after 2010. A novel and important factor that ...
Implications of Increasing College Attainment for Aging in General Equilibrium
We develop and calibrate an overlapping generations general equilibrium model of the U.S. economy with heterogeneous consumers who face idiosyncratic earnings and health risk to study the implications of exogenous trends in increasing college attainment, decreasing fertility, and increasing longevity between 2005 and 2100. While all three trends contribute to a higher old age dependency ratio, increasing college attainment has different macroeconomic implications because it increases labor productivity. Decreasing fertility and increasing longevity require the government to increase the ...
DECLINING TRENDS IN THE REAL INTEREST RATE AND INFLATION: THE ROLE OF AGING
This paper explores a causal link between aging of the labor force and declining trends in the real interest rate and inflation in Japan. We develop a New Keynesian search/matching model that features heterogeneities in age and firm-specific skills. Using the model, we examine the long-run implications of the sharp drop in labor force entry in the 1970s. We show that the changes in the demographic structure induce significant low-frequency movements in per-capita consumption growth and the real interest rate. They also lead to similar movements in the inflation rate when the monetary policy ...
At the Richmond Fed: Wiser Policy for Seniors
The American population is aging rapidly. The share of people who are 65 or older grew from 12 percent in 2000 to 17 percent in 2020. It's forecast to grow to 22 percent by 2040, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.In view of this trend, economists are attempting to improve their understanding of the economic decisions facing older people — decisions that are likely to become increasingly important for the U.S. economy as the population distribution skews older.
Population Aging, Credit Market Frictions, and Chinese Economic Growth
We build a uniﬁed framework to quantitatively examine population aging and credit market frictions in contributing to Chinese economic growth between 1977 and 2014. We ﬁnd that demographic changes together with endogenous human capital accumulation account for a large part of the rise in per capita output growth, especially after 2007, as well as some of the rise in savings. Credit pol-icy changes initially alleviate the capital misallocation between private and public ﬁrms and lead to signiﬁcant increases in both savings and output growth. Later, they distort capital allocation. ...
Aging, Deflation, and Secular Stagnation
Prior to the COVID pandemic, industrialized countries experienced a sustained episode of low inflation, low real interest rates, and low per capita gross domestic product (GDP) growth. As the logistical and other disruptions created by the COVID pandemic fade, will industrialized economies once again face downward pressure on prices, real interest rates, and output growth? We present evidence that the aging of the population was depressing the inflation rate, as well as real interest rates and GDP growth, prior to the COVID pandemic. Aging is ongoing in industrialized countries, and it will ...
The Age Gap in Mortgage Access
This paper uses data on millions of single-borrower mortgage applications to study the relationship between applicant age and mortgage application outcomes. Conditional on a rich set of applicant, property, and loan characteristics, mortgage refinance applications submitted by older borrowers are associated with higher rejection probabilities. This pattern holds within lender and across loan types. Rejection probability increases smoothly with age and accelerates in old age. The acceleration is slower for female applicants. Inability to maintain properties may contribute as older applicants ...
Why Aging Induces Deflation and Secular Stagnation
We provide a quantitative theory of deflation and secular stagnation. In our lifecycle framework, an aging population puts persistent downward pressure on the price level, real interest rates, and output. A novel feature of our theory is that it also recognizes the reactions of government policy. The central bank responds to falling prices by reducing its policy nominal interest rate, and the fiscal authority responds by allowing the public debt–gross domestic product ratio to rise.
On Financing Retirement, Health Care, and Long-Term Care in Japan
Japan is facing the problem of how to finance retirement, health care, and long-term care expenditures as the population ages. This paper analyzes the impact of policy options intended to address this problem by employing a dynamic general equilibrium overlapping generations model, specifically parameterized to match both the macro- and microeconomic level data of Japan. We find that financing the costs of aging through gradual increases in the consumption tax rate delivers better macroeconomic performance and higher welfare for most individuals relative to other financing options, including ...