Expected Changes in the Workforce and Implications for Labor Markets

41 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2004 Last revised: 29 Sep 2010

See all articles by Phillip B. Levine

Phillip B. Levine

Wellesley College; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Olivia S. Mitchell

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: June 1991

Abstract

This paper examines the likely effects of the aging of the baby boom on labor force attachment, unemployment, and wages. Labor market trends between now and 2020 are the focus of analysis, when the majority of the baby boom generation will confront its retirement decision. We begin by reviewing past labor force trends and discussing important limitations of existing projection methods. Key elements needed to project the consequences of the demographic shock facing the labor market are identified. The task of developing a fully specified economic model to examine the effect of the aging of the baby boom on the labor market is as yet incomplete. On the basis of the best available evidence, we suggest the following conclusions can be drawn: The trend towards earlier retirement will slow and perhaps reverse in the next few decades. Unemployment should fall among older workers and the aggregate full-employment unemployment rate should also decline as the baby boom ages. The aging of the baby boom will not depress wages substantially, either for older workers or for other demographic groups.

Suggested Citation

Levine, Phillip B. and Mitchell, Olivia S., Expected Changes in the Workforce and Implications for Labor Markets (June 1991). NBER Working Paper No. w3743. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=447255

Phillip B. Levine (Contact Author)

Wellesley College ( email )

106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02181
United States
781-283-2162 (Phone)
781-283-2177 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Olivia S. Mitchell

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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