NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Global Demographic Change: Dimensions and Economic Significance

David E. Bloom, David Canning

NBER Working Paper No. 10817
Issued in October 2004
NBER Program(s):   AG   LS

Transitions from high mortality and fertility to low mortality and fertility can be beneficial to economies as large baby boom cohorts enter the workforce and save for retirement, while rising longevity has perhaps increased both the incentive to invest in education and to save for retirement. We present estimates of a model of economic growth that highlights the positive effects of demographic change during 1960-95. We also show how Ireland benefited from lower fertility in the form of higher labor supply per capita and how Taiwan benefited through increased savings rates. We emphasize, however, that the realization of the potential benefits associated with the demographic transition appears to be dependent on institutions and policies, requiring the productive employment of the potential workers and savings the transition generates. Economic projections based on an "accounting" approach that assumes constant age-specific behavior are likely to be seriously misleading.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w10817

Published: David E. Bloom & David Canning, 2004. "Global demographic change : dimensions and economic significance," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Aug, pages 9-56. citation courtesy of

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