Decomposing the change in labour force indicators over time

Authors: Alexia Prskawetz, Barbara Zagaglia, Thomas Fent and Vegard Skirbekk

Demographic Research (2005)

Abstract

In this paper we study changes in the size and the composition of the labour force in five selected OECD countries from 1983 through 2000. We apply a recent decomposition method to quantify the components of the change over time in the crude labour force rate and the mean age of the labour force. Our results show that the change in the crude labour force rate was dominated by the change in age-specific labour force participation rates. For the mean age of the labour force we find that for males the change in the age composition of the population predominately explains the overall change while the results for females are less clear-cut.