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Joachim Schroth

20 March 2018
Economic Bulletin Issue 2, 2018
This article examines the macroeconomic and fiscal implications of population ageing in the euro area and looks at how pension reforms can help to address these challenges. According to Eurostat’s latest projections, population ageing is set to continue and even intensify in the euro area over the next few decades. This ongoing process, which stems from increases in life expectancy and low fertility rates, is widely expected to lead to a decline in the labour supply and productivity losses, as well as behavioural changes, and is likely to have an adverse effect on potential growth. Moreover, by causing increases in precautionary savings, ageing can be expected to have a dampening impact on interest rates over an extended period of time. Population ageing also entails changes in relative prices, mainly owing to shifts in demand, with demand for services rising. Furthermore, euro area countries are also projected to experience further upward pressure on public spending on pensions, health care and long-term care as their populations age. Although many euro area countries implemented pension reforms following the sovereign debt crisis, further reforms appear to be necessary in order to ensure fiscal sustainability in the long run. In this respect, measures that increase the retirement age can be expected to dampen the adverse macroeconomic effects of ageing, as they will have a favourable impact on the labour supply and domestic consumption. In contrast, increasing the contribution rate or reducing the benefit ratio could have less favourable macroeconomic implications.
JEL Code
H55 : Public Economics→National Government Expenditures and Related Policies→Social Security and Public Pensions
J11 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demographic Economics→Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
J14 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demographic Economics→Economics of the Elderly, Economics of the Handicapped, Non-Labor Market Discrimination
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
30 April 2019
The studies summarised in this paper focus on the economic implications of euro area firms’ participation in global value chains (GVCs). They show how, and to what extent, a large set of economic variables and inter-linkages have been affected by international production sharing. The core conclusion is that GVC participation has major implications for the euro area economy. Consequently, there is a case for making adjustments to standard macroeconomic analysis and forecasting for the euro area, taking due account of data availability and constraints.
JEL Code
F6 : International Economics→Economic Impacts of Globalization
F10 : International Economics→Trade→General
F14 : International Economics→Trade→Empirical Studies of Trade
F16 : International Economics→Trade→Trade and Labor Market Interactions
E3 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles