IZA/RIETI Workshop

Changing Demographics and the Labor Market (Summary)


  • Time and Date: 9:00-18:10, Monday, May 25 and 9:30-11:20, Tuesday, May 26, 2015
  • Venue: RIETI's seminar room (METI Annex 11th floor, 1121), 1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo


RIETI held a joint workshop on "Changing Demographics and Labor Markets" with the Institute of Labor (IZA) on May 25-26, 2015 in Tokyo. Ten academic papers were presented and discussed to address how government policies should promote elderly and female employment in the face of a declining population and increasing dependency ratio.

The papers are classified into two broad categories. The first category is on elderly employment. Lee showed that access to retirement savings accounts decreases the labor supply of the elderly. Burlon examined the relationship between the speed of technological progress and the retirement timing, exploiting the heterogeneity in the speed of technological progress by cohort and industry. Tyrowicz simulated the effect of pension reforms on the macro economy. Stancanelli examined a French time use survey and shows that the simultaneous retirement of a couple does not necessarily imply that they spend time together. Kondo examined the impact of an exogenous increase of the employment rate of the elderly which was induced by legislative change in Japan on the employment of other groups of workers.

Regarding female employment, Possenriede examined if flexible work arrangements such as telework increases the labor supply. Lee examined the impact of gender differences in college major on gender wage gap in Korea. Usui analyzed the division of household duties between wife and husband and shows that increasing the outsourcing of household duties could improve marriage satisfaction from both parties. Ishii examined the impact of informal elderly care on labor supply using data from the Japanese Study of Aging and Retirement (JSTAR) that RIETI jointly conducts with other institutions. Rodrigues-Planas showed that the endowment of parental right to request part-time arrangements results in a reduction of labor demand for female workers relative to male workers as well as wage decline.

While some papers do not directly analyze the policy impact, all of the papers give insights to how policies can potentially encourage the employment of the elderly and female. Papers with clear theoretical framework and clean identification strategy generally were more appreciated by the audience. All of the presented papers were delivered to the IZA Journal of Labor Policy .