Summary of The Effect of Population Aging on Economic Growth, the Labor Force and Productivity

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The Effect of Population Aging on Economic Growth, the Labor Force and Productivity summary
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The aging of the US population has critical implications for the American economy. This research study by health care expert Nicole Maestas and economists Kathleen Mullen and David Powell presents evidence that overall productivity is likely to suffer as more and more older workers retire. The report looks into the implications for economic growth of a graying workforce, and it makes a strong case against ageism in employment. getAbstract recommends this insightful and useful analysis to both employers and employees.

About the Authors

Nicole Maestas is an associate professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School. Kathleen J. Mullen and David Powell are economists with the RAND Corporation.



Historical trends in birth, immigration and death rates have all affected the size of the US population and its proportions of different age groups over time. The 1960s’ decline in birth rates ended the baby boomer generation, whose members’ retirements are increasing now and into the future. At the same time, US mortality rates have been declining. From 2010 to 2020, the proportion of Americans in the 60-plus age group will grow by 21%; the years 2010 to 2050 will see an increase of 39% in this cohort. This shift will likely have a negative impact on economic growth...

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