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Africa’s Prospects for Enjoying a Demographic Dividend

Author

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
    DOI: 10.1017/dem.2016.19
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    6. Abeliansky, Ana & Algur, Eda & Bloom, David E. & Prettner, Klaus, 2020. "The Future of Work: Challenges for Job Creation Due to Global Demographic Change and Automation," IZA Discussion Papers 12962, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    8. David E. Bloom & Alex Khoury & Vadim Kufenko & Klaus Prettner, 2021. "Spurring Economic Growth through Human Development: Research Results and Guidance for Policymakers," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 47(2), pages 377-409, June.
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    10. David E. Bloom & Michael Kuhn & Klaus Prettner, 2022. "Modern Infectious Diseases: Macroeconomic Impacts and Policy Responses," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 85-131, March.
    11. Cummins, Matthew, 2019. "Population Dynamics and the Demographic Dividend Potential of Eastern and Southern Africa: A Primer," MPRA Paper 97735, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Lamar Crombach & Jeroen Smits, 2022. "The Demographic Window of Opportunity and Economic Growth at Sub-National Level in 91 Developing Countries," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 161(1), pages 171-189, May.
    13. Büttner, Nicolas & Grimm, Michael & Günther, Isabel & Harttgen, Kenneth & Klasen, Stephan, 2022. "The fertility transition in Sub-Saharan Africa: The role of structural change," Passauer Diskussionspapiere, Volkswirtschaftliche Reihe V-90-22, University of Passau, Faculty of Business and Economics.
    14. Yahyaoui Ismahene, 2022. "Infectious Diseases, Trade, and Economic Growth: a Panel Analysis of Developed and Developing Countries," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 13(3), pages 2547-2583, September.
    15. Andreas Backhaus & Elke Loichinger, 2022. "Female Labor Force Participation in Sub‐Saharan Africa: A Cohort Analysis," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 48(2), pages 379-411, June.
    16. Patrizio Vanella & Philipp Deschermeier & Christina B. Wilke, 2020. "An Overview of Population Projections—Methodological Concepts, International Data Availability, and Use Cases," Forecasting, MDPI, vol. 2(3), pages 1-18, September.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Africa; Declining fertility; Demographic dividend; Development; Education; Health Infrastructure;
    All these keywords.

    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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