Younger vs. older workers in ASEAN countries: substitutes or complements?

Febry Wijayanti


The phenomenon of population ageing has led the countries of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) to face challenges in the sphere of employment since older workers are considered likely to prevent younger workers from entering the labor market. This paper seeks to describe the effect that an increase in the number of older workers has on the number of young workers. The study relies on the data provided by the International Labour Organization for the period between 2010 and 2016 and the OLS and 2SLS regression analysis methods. The results show that older workers do not impede the career progress of younger workers, in other work, that these two groups of workers are complements rather than substitutes for each other. Nevertheless, the phenomenon of population ageing should be an important concern for the governments of ASEAN countries because of the effect of this trend on the labour market. The fact that almost a half of the elderly population in ASEAN is still actively working indicates that the elderly suffer from the consequences of the economic downturn and still do not feel financially secure enough to retire. Thus, the role of the government in the current conditions is to create a suitable job market to accommodate elderly workers.


population ageing, ASEAN, older workers, employment, labor market

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