NBER - The power of inclusive labor force participation for mitigating population aging: closing gaps at the intersection between race/ethnicity and gender in the United States

René Böheim, Thomas Horvath, Thomas Leoni, Martin Spielauer

In this project we develop a dynamic microsimulation model to project the labor force and economic dependency ratios in the United States from 2022 to 2060 taking population projections and the large inequalities between population groups of different race/ethnicity and gender into account. We contrast policy scenarios and show the potential impact that closing the gaps in education, health and participation rates between population sub grou ps can have on increasing the U.S. labor force Our baseline projections indicate an increase of the labor force of about 27 million people by 2060 which is mainly caused by population growth. The downstream effects of removing disparities in population he alth and education al attainment on labor force participation can add about 10% (+2.6 million people) to our baseline projections. The potential effects of closing gaps between genders and between minority groups and the n on Hispanic W hite population however, are much larger if we assume the equalization of participation rates for individuals with similar characteristics. Closing gender gaps within ethno racial groups, for instance, can add 9.9 to 14.3 million people to the labor force depending on the assumptions Overall, reducing disparities in labor force participation rates has the potential to more than compensate the effects of demographic aging on the economic dependency ratio.

  • Organizations: Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO); Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria; University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt, Austria

  • Funding: This 2023-2024 project is funded by the US Social Security Administration, the grant being administrated by the US National Bureau of Economic Research NBER