Contents: 1. Introduction 2. Ageing and Dependency 3. Population Ageing and Neoclassical Economics 4. Alternative views of Population Ageing 5. Productivity and Employment 6. Pensions and Retirement 7. Health Care and Social Services 8. Informal Economic Activity 9. Conclusion
Tommy Bengtsson Population ageing, the shift in age distribution towards older ages, is of immense global concern. It is taking place to a varying degree all over the world, more in Europe and some Asian countries, less on the African continent. The worldwide share of people aged 65 years and above is predicted to increase from 7. 5% in 2005 to 16. 1% in 2050 (UN 2007, p. 11). The corresponding ?gures for developed countries are 15. 5 and 26. 2% and for developing countries 5. 5 and 14. 6%. While population ageing has been going on for some time in the developed world, and will continue to do so, most of the change is yet to come for the developing world. The change in developing countries, however, is going to be much faster than it has been in the developed world. For example, while it took more than 100 years in France and more than 80 years in Sweden for the population group aged 65 and above to increase from 7 to 14% of the population, the same change in Japan took place over a 25-year period (UN 2007, p. 13). The scenario for the future is very similar for most developing countries, including highly populated countries like China, India and Brazil. While the start and the speed differ, the shift in age structure towards older ages is a worldwide phenomenon, stressing the signi?cance of the concept global ageing.
1. 1 Motivation and main question of this research A modern society faces two alternatives with regards to its population trend. It can either grow or age. A population which chooses not to grow any more (or which chooses to shrink) will necessarily age. And because of the impossibility of all populations in all countries growing forever, it is likely that every country will face this ageing process at some point in time. Because of this and the importance of economic growth for the well-being of a society, the relationship between an ageing population and economic growth will be relevant for each country. It is already an important and much discussed matter for many. Although population ageing is faced by virtually all industrialised countries, the time frame and the intensity of the process vary. The substantial changes forecasted for the demographic structure of many countries over coming decades have led to substantial research activity aiming to analyse and quantify the effects of these changes on a nation's economic performance. DEGREES A change in population size and population growth rate can af fect both the demand and supply side of an economy. The extent of the effects, however, is not clear. DEGREES The structure of a population (for example, regarding distribution of age or gender) may also influence the economic performance of a
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