Global Aging: Issues, Answers, and More Questions
by Axel H. Börsch-Supan
Global aging will be a major determinant of long run economic development in
industrial and developing countries. The extent of the demographic changes is dramatic
and will deeply affect future labor, financial and goods markets. The expected strain on
public budgets and especially social security has already received prominent attention,
but the aging poses many other economic challenges that threaten productivity and
growth if they remain unaddressed.
While aging is global, there are marked differences in the speed and the extent of the
aging processes across countries. These differences are likely to generate different growth
paths and change the international pecking order, e.g. within the G8 countries. Due to the
globalization of labor, financial and goods markets, however, these differential
demographic developments will also precipitate trade and factor movements. Exploiting
these movements offers large chances during the aging process.
The purpose of this paper is to review the most important economic chances and
challenges due to global aging. It summarizes what we know and identifies research areas
where it is important to know more.
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