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On Global Aging

Nearly all countries in the world are experiencing an aging of their populations due to declining fertility rates and rising longevity. Aging has been the subject of much discussion in the last decade, often expressed in alarmist language. On Global Aging presents a more optimistic look on the effects of aging on the economy. Nonetheless aging will pose major policy challenges on the well functioning of the economy and the society as a whole.The book describes and analyses the effects of population aging on social and economic issues, labour and financial markets, pension and health care expenditures and public finance, and the welfare of people. It surveys also the policy measures in the face of aging to secure the resource base. They are mainly aimed at increasing labour force participation and above all at stimulating productivity growth. The book is a valuable resource for practitioners and policy makers and the wider academic community, economists, social scientists, gerontologists and others.
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Table of Contents

1 Introductory observations.- 1.1 A growing older society.- 1.2 The pension burden.- 1.3 Societal issues.- 1.4 Budgetary issues.- 2 Demography.- 2.1 Introductory observations.- 2.1.1 Uncertainty of projections.- 2.2 Population projections.- 2.2.1 Population in the developed countries.- 2.2.2 Population in the developing countries.- 2.2.3 Towards an older population.- 2.2.4 Old-age dependency.- 2.2.5 Towards a shrinking (and older) working age population.- 2.3 Demographic transition.- 2.3.1 Different patterns of aging.- 2.3.2 Aging, a feminist issue.- 2.3.3 Falling fertility rates.- 2.3.4 Longevity.- 2.4 Final observations.- 3 The impact of an aging population on the economy.- 3.1 Aging and capital formation.- 3.1.1 Increasing capital intensity.- 3.2 Aging and labour supply.- 3.3 The impact of aging on the performance of the economy.- 3.3.1 Single-country general equilibrium models.- 3.3.2 Multi-country general equilibrium models.- 3.3.3 Concluding observations.- 3.3.4 Productivity growth the most important factor.- 3.3.5 Remaining research questions.- 3.4 Final observations.- 4 Can the world population grow older comfortably ?.- 4.1 Scenarios of the demographic transition in developed countries.- 4.1.1 Aging and the labour market.- 4.1.2 Aging and the capital market.- 4.1.3 Labour force participation.- 4.1.4 Labour force productivity.- 4.1.5 Alternative scenarios.- 4.1.6 Decomposition.- 4.2 Scenarios of the demographic transition in developing countries.- 4.2.1 Demographic dividend.- 4.2.2 Alternative scenarios.- 4.3 Can the world population grow older comfortably?.- 4.3.1 Basic economics.- 4.3.2 Aging and welfare in the 21 st centuiy.- 4.3.3 Strain on political, social and economic systems.- 4.3.4 Alternative productivity growth rates.- 4.3.5 Required productivity growth to maintain welfare.- 4.4 Spending on welfare and intergenerational ethics.- 4.4.1 Concluding observations.- 5 A paradox.- 5.1 The budgetary issue.- 5.1.1 The budgetary issue - public pensions.- 5.1.2 The budgetary issue - health and long-term care.- 5.1.3 Aging, longevity and health care expenditures.- 5.2 A paradox.- 5.2.1 The method of pension finance - on a micro or personal level.- 5.2.2 The method of pension finance - on a macro or national level.- 5.2.3 The ownership of pension capital.- 5.2.4 No controversy between workers and pensioners.- 5.2.5 (Partial) shift from pay-as-you-go to funding.- 5.2.6 Pitfalls: the public versus private issue.- 5.3 Concluding observations.- 6 Policies in the face of aging.- 6.1 Introductory observations.- 6.2 Policy measures to enlarge the contribution or resource base.- 6.2.1 Shifting factor scarcity.- 6.2.2 Provisos.- 6.3 The impact of reform policy measures.- 6.3.1 Feedback mechanisms.- 6.3.2 Required labour force participation to maintain welfare.- 6.3.3 Policy measures in respect of pensions.- 6.3.4 Different views of the European Commission.- 6.3.5 Choosing a pension plan, `the third road'.- 6.3.6 Immigration.- 6.3.7 Required immigration to maintain welfare.- 6.3.8 Investing abroad.- 6.3.9 Towards active aging.- 6.4 Long-run trends.- 6.4.1 Social cohesion.- 6.4.2 A society for all ages.- 6.4.3 Concluding observations.- 7. Summarizing and concluding remarks.- Abstract.- References.- Appendix A. Methodology.- Appendix B. Alternative scenarios.- Appendix C. Relative merits of pay-as-you-go and funding systems.- Appendix D. Neo-classical economics in a growing older environment.- Appendix E. Aging in the Netherlands.- Appendix F. An optimal and preferred EU-15 pension reform strategy.- Appendix G. Demography in the EU-15 countries.

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