Economic Implications of Demographic Change: Diversity Dividend or Deficit?


The economic implications of demographic change depend on steadfast investments in research and development; replenishment of the human capital stock diminished by retiring Baby Boomers; and raising college attainment rates. This way the United States can leverage its diverse, fast-growing population to harness a demographic dividend—the productivity boost enabled by declining fertility—while also fueling economic growth, restocking the Social Security system, and bolstering global competitiveness.

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I would like to thank Cara Carpenito for her technical support in preparing the presentation and the manuscript.


Additional information

Based on a presentation in the NBER Panel on Economic Implications of Demographic Change at the NABE Annual Meeting, October 11, 2015.

*Marta Tienda is Maurice P. During ’22 Professor of Demographic Studies and Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University and past president of the Population Association of America. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, and the National Academy of Education. Currently Dr. Tienda serves as an independent trustee of the Teachers Insurance Annuity Association (TIAA), the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Jacobs Foundation of Switzerland. She is a member of the White House Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, the Research Advisory Committee of the American Education Research Association and the Board of Population Reference Bureau. Previously she served on the boards of Brown University, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the W.T. Grant Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Russell Sage Foundation. Dr. Tienda received a B.A. from Michigan State University (Spanish, 1972) and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin (1976).

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Tienda, M. Economic Implications of Demographic Change: Diversity Dividend or Deficit?. Bus Econ 51, 11–17 (2016).

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  • demographic dividend
  • population diversification
  • generational transition
  • human capital stock