Does Demography Change Wealth Inequality?

Stefan Wrzaczek, Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) and Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, VID/OEAW, WU)
Miguel Sanchez-Romero, Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, VID/OEAW, WU)
Alexia Prskawetz, Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, VID/OEAW, WU) and Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien)
Gustav Feichtinger, Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, VID/OEAW, WU) and Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien)

In this article, we investigate the effect of demography on wealth inequality. We propose an economic growth model with overlapping generations in which individuals are altruistic towards their children and differ with respect to the age of their parent. We denote the age gap between the parent and their child as generational gap. The introduction of the generational gap allows us to analyze wealth inequality not only across cohorts but also within cohorts. Our model predicts that a decline in fertility raises wealth inequality within cohorts and, simultaneously, it reduces inequality at the population level (across cohorts). In contrast, increases in life expectancy result in a non-monotonic effect on wealth inequality by age and across cohorts.

Presented in Session 1148: Environment, Development, and Space