Immigration can alleviate the ageing problem

This paper analyses the way immigration can help to alleviate the burden ageing presents for the welfare states of most Western Economies. We develop a macroeconomic framework which deals with the impact of both ageing and immigration on economic growth. This is combined with a detailed model of the labour market, to include theinteraction with unemployment, while distinguishing between low- and high-skilled labour. The empirical relevance of some crucial model assumptions are shown to hold for the Netherlands, 1973 – 2005. The conclusions are that immigration will help to alleviate the ageing problem, as long as the immigrants will be able to find work. Moreover, the better educated the immigrants are or become, the higher their contribution to growth will be.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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