fbpx Effective Labor Supply and Growth Outlook in China | Harvard Kennedy School


The falling projections of working-age population in China has led to predictions of much slower economic growth. We consider three mechanisms that could contribute to higher effective labor supply growth: further improvement in educational attainment due to cohort replacement and rising college enrollment; improvement in aggregate labor quality due to urbanization; and higher labor force participation due to later retirement. We find that these factors result in a projected growth rate of effective labor input of 0.40% for 2015-2030 compared to -0.60% for working age population. As a result, the projected growth rate of GDP will be 5.80% for 2015–2030 compared to 5.23% if these factors are ignored.


Cao, Jing, Mun S. Ho, Wenhao Hu, and Dale Jorgenson. "Effective Labor Supply and Growth Outlook in China." China Economic Review 61 (June 2020): 101398.