Population aging and economic progress : a bumpy road ahead?

Date
2010-06
Authors
Mason, Andrew
Lee, Sang-Hyop
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Honolulu, HI: East-West Center
Abstract
Over the next forty years, the most important demographic trend in Asia and the Pacific will be population aging. This has primarily been an industrialized country phenomenon to this point, but by 2050 many other countries in the region will have aged dramatically. Rapid increase in elderly populations may bring two important goals of countries in the region into sharp conflict. The first is to develop socioeconomic systems that will provide economic security to a growing number of elderly people. The second is to sustain strong economic growth over the next forty years. The ultimate economic success of these two goals will rely on policies yet to be implemented, and the most important ones will be policies that encourage savings, investment in human capital, and well-functioning financial and labor markets.
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