We are All Getting Older: A World Perspective on Aging and Economics

East Asian Economic Perspectives, No. 13, Vol. 2, pp.18-51, 2002

34 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2011

See all articles by Miguel Székely

Miguel Székely

Center for Education and Social Studies

Jere Behrman

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics

Suzanne Duryea

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Date Written: June 24, 2011

Abstract

This paper presents new evidence for major world regions and for the most populous countries in each region on associations between the average ages of populations and three groups of economic outcomes: (1) macroeconomic aggregates (domestic saving as a share of GDP, GDP per capita, capital per worker and tax revenue as a share of GDP); (2) governmental expenditures on education and health; and (3) social indicators (inequality, unemployment, homicide rates, and schooling progression rates). The results suggest that the variables considered follow clear age-related patterns, that the patterns differ by regions, and that the patterns differ with different policy regimes related to trade openness, domestic financial market deepening and macroeconomic volatility. The evidence is consistent with the possibility that some age structure shifts can provide favorable conditions for development. Apparently regions such as East Asia in recent decades have been able to benefit from this demographic opportunity. However, in others such as Latin America and the Caribbean -which is at the verge of experiencing the largest age structure shifts in the coming decades- creating an adequate economic environment to translate the opportunity into higher living standards for its population is a major challenge.

Suggested Citation

Székely, Miguel and Behrman, Jere R. and Duryea, Suzanne, We are All Getting Older: A World Perspective on Aging and Economics (June 24, 2011). East Asian Economic Perspectives, No. 13, Vol. 2, pp.18-51, 2002, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1871880

Miguel Székely (Contact Author)

Center for Education and Social Studies ( email )

Mexico City
Mexico

Jere R. Behrman

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics ( email )

Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science
133 South 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6297
United States
215-898-7704 (Phone)
215-573-2057 (Fax)

Suzanne Duryea

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue, NW
Research Department
Washington, DC 20577
United States

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