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
Retiring workers are decreasing the overall productivity of America’s labor pool.


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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.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What implications worker retirements have for the US economy,
  • How fewer older people in the labor pool might affect younger workers, and
  • What government and businesses can do to counter the negative fallouts.


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...
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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.

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