Labor supply prospects in 16 developed countries, 2000-2050

Peter McDonald, Rebecca Kippen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


Over the past 20 years, policy attention has been focused upon the implications of below-replacement fertility for the aging of populations. This article argues that another potential consequence, a decline in the absolute size of the labor force, may prove to be an equally compelling issue because of its impact on rates of economic growth. Because the United States will experience both increasing labor productivity and an increase in its labor supply, the growth orientation of the global economy is likely to persist. In this circumstance, given relatively comparable changes in the productivity of labor across countries, countries that face major declines in their labor supply will fare less well than countries that are able to maintain their labor supply at least constant. The article examines the labor supply prospects of 16 developed countries for the period 2000-2050, drawing attention to the ways in which countries may be able to influence the future levels of their labor supply.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-32
Number of pages32
JournalPopulation and Development Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

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