Measuring the Impact of Aging and Migration on the Economic Activity of the United States
The United States is experiencing changes in its demographic structure. On the one hand, the United States is at the end of the demographic transition and continues to experience declining fertility rates and increasing life expectancy. This transition is leading to an aging society. On the other hand, the United States continues to be a country that attracts migrants from across the world, and the share of the foreign-born population is reaching historical highs and continues to grow. In this dissertation, I explore the relationship between these changes and their effect on economic output. I first measure the contribution of international migration on the length and magnitude of the demographic dividend. International migration impacts the age-structure of the host population because migrants are more likely to move at certain ages. Thus, it is possible to measure their contribution to the United States economy by studying the changes in the support ratio. Next, I explore how an aging society can impact the economic output of the United States by measuring the changes in consumption as a share of the gross domestic product as a society changes its age-structure. Finally, I look into how the spending behavior of retirees varies by place of origin to learn how an increasingly foreign population might behave. The objective of this dissertation, and its main contribution, is to separate the demographic processes and measure its influence on specific aspects of the economy.