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Long-Run Macro-Economic Effects of the Aging U. S. Population -- Phase II
Project Scope



This study will build on the recently completed first phase of the NRC study, whose report entitled "Aging and the Macroeconomy: Long-term Implications of an Older Population" was published in December 2012.

An ad hoc committee shall conduct a study that will help clarify the long-term macroeconomic effects of population aging in the United States. Phase I of the study and the resulting 2012 report summarized what is known about how factors such as savings rates, stock market exposure, productivity, consumption patterns, and global capital flows react to demographic shifts. Phase II of the study will incorporate quantitative modeling and projections in order to develop new insights about the long-run macroeconomic effects of the aging U.S. population. The primary focus of the study will be on the implications of increases in the spread of population distributions of income and longevity for age-related public programs and for the reform of these programs to meet the challenges presented by an aging population.
Phase II of the study shall include, but will not be limited to, the following elements:

  • Evaluation of long-term trends in the share of national output devoted to support of the elderly population.
  • Documentation and exploration of the underlying causes of the growing gaps in income and life expectancy in the United States.
  • Examination of how the growing gaps in income and life expectancy affect national public programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and how these gaps interact with proposed policy adjustments to achieve sustainability in the context of population aging.
  • Construction of generational accounts by lifetime income or education for different population cohorts under different policy regimes.

This project is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Treasury. The approximate start date for this project is September 29, 2012. The Phase II report will be issued at the end of this project in approximately 24 months.

More Information about —
Aging and the Macroeconomy: Long-Term Implications of an Older Population


Ronald Lee (Co-Chair) - University of California, Berkeley
Peter Orszag (Co-Chair) - CitiGroup, Inc.
Alan J. Auerbach - University of California, Berkeley
Kerwin Charles - The University of Chicago
Courtney C. Coile - Wellesley College
William Gale - The Brookings Institution
Dana P. Goldman - University of Southern California
Charles M. Lucas - Osprey Point Consulting
Louise M. Sheiner - Federal Reserve System
David Weil - Boston University
Justin Wolfers - University of Michigan
Rebecca Wong - University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston


Meeting #1 - May 24, 2013
Meeting #2 - October 4, 2013
Meeting #3 - January 31, 2014
Meeting #4 - May 16, 2014

Kevin Kinsella, Senior Program Officer
Danielle Johnson, Senior Program Assistant

The National Academies