Investigating the Effects of Migration on Economic Growth in Aging OECD Countries from 1975-2015

Michael Butler


This paper investigates whether open migration policies have alleviated any potentially negative effects that aging populations have on economic growth in 29 developed OECD countries from 1975-2015. From 1975 to 1995, aging slowed economic growth, while from 1995 to 2015, aging had little effect on growth. Further, migrants did not curb any negative effects associated with aging from 1975-2015. I also find that the popular Card (2001) migration instrument has little predictive power in an international context. Lastly, I find that contemporaneous economic growth does not affect the rate of aging in a country, which calls into question the use of aging instruments in other cross-country studies.