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How large are the effects of population aging on economic inequality?

  • Author(s): Goldstein, Joshua R
  • Lee, Ronald D
  • et al.
Abstract

The attention given to Piketty (2014) has renewed interest in the level and causes of inequality. In this paper, we look at the role that population aging plays in increasing economic inequality. We provide estimates of the magnitudes of the effects on inequality of three different factors related to population aging: capital intensification, changing population age structure, and increasing longevity. Changing age structure is found to have a small effect on aggregate inequality, while capital deepening and longevity-based life cycle savings are shown to be more important. Taken together, our findings suggest that aging has a substantial effect on economic inequality.

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