Aging, Economic Growth, and Old-Age Security in Asia

Publication | October 2012

Population aging is perhaps the single biggest economic and social obstacle confronting Asia's future. The region-wide demographic transition towards an older population is fundamentally reshaping the demographic landscape, and is giving rise to two key socio-economic challenges. This timely book provides an in-depth analysis of these challenges and presents concrete policy options for tackling them.

First, the expert contributors argue, Asia must find ways to sustain rapid economic growth in the face of less favorable demographics, which implies slower growth of the workforce. Second, they contend, Asia must find ways to deliver affordable, adequate, and sustainable old-age economic security for its growing elderly population. Underpinned by rigorous analysis, a wide range of concrete policy options for sustaining economic growth while delivering economic security for the elderly are then presented. These include Asia-wide policy options - relevant to the entire region - such as building up strong national pension systems, while other policy options are more relevant to sub-groups of countries.

This stimulating and informative book will be of great interest to academics, students, and researchers with an interest in Asian studies, economics generally, and, more specifically, public sector economics.

Reviews

'Rapid demographic change poses two obvious strategic questions for Asia: (i) how can it sustain economic growth as its demographic dividend dwindles, and (ii) how will it deliver adequate yet affordable and sustainable income security for its large and growing elderly population. On the basis of rigorous empirical analysis, this book offers some concrete and specific policy options for the region. Much of that analysis relies on National Transfer Accounts (NTA), a rich dataset based on household data. For both policymakers and the general public alike, this book is a valuable in-depth guide to the economic implications of Asia's aging.'

- Ronald Lee, Professor of Demography and Jordan Family Professor of Economics
Director, Center for the Economics and Demography of Aging
University of California at Berkeley

'Population aging is altering the demographic landscape of Asia, turning a once-young continent into an increasingly older one. Aging has far-reaching ramifications for Asia, especially for economic growth and old-age income security. This book examines these issues with a great deal of analytical rigor and conceptual clarity. It is authored by the region's foremost demographic economists who used both micro and macro data to empirically examine the impact of aging. It is a must-read for those interested in what aging means for Asia's economic future, and what Asia must do to prepare itself.'- Mukul Asher, Professorial Fellow, Lee Kuan Yew School Of Public Policy, National University of Singapore

Contents 

  • Foreword
  • Overview: Why Does Population Aging Matter So Much for Asia? Population Aging, Economic Growth, and Economic Security in Asia
  • Population, Wealth, and Economic Growth in Asia and the Pacific
  • Impact of Population Aging on Asia's Future Growth
  • Population Aging and Aggregate Consumption in Developing Asia
  • The Economic Lifecycle and Support Systems in Asia
  • Demographic Change, Intergenerational Transfers, and the Challenges for Social Protection Systems in the People's Republic of China
  • Demographic Dividends for India: Evidence and Implications Based on National Transfer Accounts
  • Population Aging, Economic Growth, and Intergenerational Transfers in Japan: How Dire are the Prospects?
  • Summary of Key Findings and Main Policy Recommendations