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Africa’s Prospects for Enjoying a Demographic Dividend

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Listed:
  • David E. BLOOM

    (Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health)

  • Michael KUHN

    (Vienna Institue of Demography)

  • Klaus PRETTNER

    (University of Hohenheim)

Abstract

We assess Africa's prospects for enjoying a demographic dividend. While fertility rates and dependency ratios in Africa remain high, they have started to decline. According to UN projections, they will fall further in the coming decades such that by the mid-21st century, the ratio of the working age to dependent population will be greater than in Asia, Europe, and Northern America. This projection suggests Africa has considerable potential to enjoy a demographic dividend. Whether and when it actually materializes, and also its magnitude, hinges on policies and institutions in key realms that include macroeconomic management, human capital, trade, governance, and labor and capital markets. Given strong complementarities among these areas, coordinated policies will likely be most effective in generating the momentum needed to pull Africa's economies out of a development trap.

Suggested Citation

  • David E. BLOOM & Michael KUHN & Klaus PRETTNER, 2017. "Africa’s Prospects for Enjoying a Demographic Dividend," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 83(1), pages 63-76, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvde:v:83:y:2017:i:1:p:63-76
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1017/dem.2016.19
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    Cited by:

    1. Bloom, David E. & Kuhn, Michael & Prettner, Klaus, 2018. "Health and Economic Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 11939, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Africa; Declining fertility; Demographic dividend; Development; Education; Health Infrastructure;

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

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