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Rafael Gómez

23 August 2006
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 670
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Abstract
Given that savings behaviour and worker productivity have strong life-cycle components and given that demographic profiles vary across countries, population age structure should be linked to differences in levels of economic development. In this paper we measure the economic importance of age structure variation for the global economy. We find that even after adjusting for country-specific effects, demographic maturation has been associated with nearly half of the evolution of global per-capita GDP since 1960. We also find that age structure differences can account for just over half of the variation in worldwide per capita GDP (i.e. the lack of sigma convergence) observed since 1960. Taken as a whole, these results complement recent theoretical and empirical work on the importance of population size and economic development and reinforce empirical work linking mature demographic age structures with faster cross-country economic growth rates.
JEL Code
J13 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demographic Economics→Fertility, Family Planning, Child Care, Children, Youth
J22 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demand and Supply of Labor→Time Allocation and Labor Supply
J24 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demand and Supply of Labor→Human Capital, Skills, Occupational Choice, Labor Productivity
O11 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Development→Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
O40 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity→General