Population change and economic growth in Asia : new findings from the National Transfer Accounts (NTA) project

Date
2015-11
Authors
National Transfer Accounts Project
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Honolulu, HI: National Transfer Accounts, East-West Center
Abstract
Population age structures are changing everywhere in the world, but nowhere has the change been more rapid or dramatic than in Asia. And changing age structures can have a profound effect on wellbeing and economic growth. How many consumers and producers are there in a population? How much do they earn and how much do they consume at every stage of life? To what extent do the elderly support themselves from assets acquired during their working years? And how do families and governments meet the needs of children and the elderly who consume more than they produce? The National Transfer Accounts (NTA) project is bringing together data and developing analytical tools to help answer these important questions. By providing estimates of income, public and private transfers, and consumption and saving by age, NTA adds an important dimension to measures of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and other widely used economic indicators. In 2014, the Asia Pacific Regional Office of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA APRO) and the East-West Center launched a project to expand and update NTA analysis in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Bangladesh and Malaysia joined the group later. The project includes national-level training, south-south exchange visits, NTA research-based policy briefs, and regional meetings showcasing best practices and progress in the NTA project, including comparisons with findings from other NTA member countries. This issue of the NTA Bulletin highlights early findings from this expansion of NTA analysis in the region.
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