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Skills, Population Aging, and the Pattern of Trade

Gu, Ke and Stoyanov, Andrey (2018): Skills, Population Aging, and the Pattern of Trade.

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Abstract

In this paper we investigate a particular mechanism through which differences in demographic composition across countries affect international trade flows. Some cognitive functions are known to vary across the adult life span, and in particular the ability to update skills and adapt to changes in working conditions. As a country's population is getting older, it becomes increasingly difficult for firms to find workers with up-to-date skills. As a result, countries with aging populations will start losing comparative advantage in industries that rely heavily on workers' ability to adapt to frequent changes in working conditions. We test this hypothesis and find robust empirical evidence for a significant negative effect of population aging on comparative advantage of a country in industries which are intensive in skill adaptability of the labor force, in both the cross-sectional and the dynamic panel data sets.

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  • Skills, Population Aging, and the Pattern of Trade. (deposited 05 Feb 2018 14:59) [Currently Displayed]
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