How can migration, workforce participation, and education balance the cost of aging in Europe?
Guillaume Marois1, Alain Belanger2, Wolfgang Lutz3
1Asian Demographic Research Institute, Shanghai University, 2Institut national de la recherche scientifique, 3International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

This paper provides a demographic analysis of the degree to which negative economic consequences of population aging can be mitigated by changes in migration and labor force participation for the 28 EU member states. Using a microsimulation population projection model accounting for 13 individual characteristics including education and immigration-related variables, we study the consequences in terms of the conventional age dependency ratio, the labor force dependency ratio, and the productivity-weighted labor force dependency ratio using education as a proxy of productivity, which accounts for the fact that not all individuals are equality productive in society. The results show that in terms of the more sophisticated ratios, population aging looks less daunting than when only considering age structure. In terms of policy options, lifting labor force participation among the general population as in Sweden, and education-selective migration if accompanied by high integration, could even improve economic dependency.