via Wall Street Journal
Planning to retire in the next few years? Please reconsider: The economy needs you more than you know.
Economists have long expected an aging population to hamper growth for the simple reason that it means a smaller labor force. But new research has identified a potentially more powerful impact: Rapid retirements deprive companies of critical experience and knowledge, which undermines productivity across the entire economy. Demographics may thus be a critical factor in why the current economic expansion, which began as the first baby boomers qualified for Social Security, is the weakest on record.
The findings are contained in a new paper by Nicole Maestas of Harvard University and Kathleen Mullen and David Powell of the Rand Corp., a think tank. Because the 50 states are aging at different rates, they were able to tease out the impact of aging on economic growth. Their conclusion: On average, every 10% increase in the share of state’s population over the age of 60 reduced per capita growth in gross domestic product by 5.5%.