Aging, Output Per Capita and Secular Stagnation

22 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2018 Last revised: 17 Jul 2023

Date Written: August 2018


This paper re-examines the relationship between population aging and economic growth. We confirm previous research such as Cutler, Poterba, Sheiner, and Summers (1990) and Acemoglu and Restrepo (2017) that show positive correlation between measures of population aging and per-capita output growth. Our contribution is demonstrating that this relationship breaks down when the adjustment of interest rates is inhibited by an effective lower bound on nominal rates as took place during the Great Financial Crisis decade. Indeed, during the “secular stagnation regime” of 2008-2015 that prevailed in a number of countries, aging had a negative impact on living standards, consistent with the secular stagnation hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

Eggertsson, Gauti and Lancastre, Manuel and Summers, Larry, Aging, Output Per Capita and Secular Stagnation (August 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w24902, Available at SSRN:

Manuel Lancastre

Brown University

Box 1860
Providence, RI 02912
United States

Larry Summers

Harvard University ( email )

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