Labor Markets, Education, Population

Project: Economic resources of senior citizens

Project Duration

02/2004 - 06/2004 (finalized)

Commissioned by

Ministerium für Gesundheit, Soziales, Frauen und Familie NRW in Kooperation mit IAT

Project Team (RWI)

Prof. Dr. Boris Augurzky (Chief), Dr. Uwe Neumann


In our ageing society a better integration of senior citizens in economic activities is absolutely necessary from the national economy point of view to counteract the foreseeable lack of younger skilled labour on the one hand, and, on the other, to relieve the overburdened social security system. So far no studies have been made quantifying the economic consequences of potential incentives for the senior citizens economy and thus specifying the cost of ignoring these economic resources. In the present study, the effects of potential stimuli for the senior citizens economy on the economic development in North Rhine-Westphalia as a whole are estimated. The changes compared to the expected development without such interventions are described. For this projection, a regional econometric model was used. On the basis of these calculations, the consequences for employment, the GDP, the population, and the additional tax revenue of the state and local government(s) of NRW are evaluated. The options for action dealt with in this study relate to the employment behaviour and incomes of senior citizens, the level and distribution of their consumption, and their migration pattern. Based on fundamental economic indicators, seven scenarios were selected to show the effects to be expected in the period from 2006 until 2015 as a results of specific incentives provided to foster the senior citizens economy. The results obtained help assess more accurately the additional contributions senior citizens could make as workers and/or consumers to the economic development of NRW in the next few years. If this potential is turned to good account, the negative consequences anticipated due to a shrinking population and work force basis could at least be mitigated.

Selected project related publications

Monographs (Author)


Augurzky, B. and U. Neumann (2005), Ökonomische Ressourcen älterer Menschen - Regionalwirtschaftliche und fiskalische Effekte einer Förderung der Seniorenwirtschaft in Nordrhein-Westfalen. RWI Materialien 19. Essen: RWI. download