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International Aging, Economic Incentives and Public Policy - Invecchiamento della popolazione, incentivi economici e politiche pubbliche


  • Foreman, Stephen

    () (Robert Morris University, Department of Economics - Crimea State Medical University, Department of Social Medicine, Crimea, Ukraine)

  • Litzinger, Patrick

    () (Robert Morris University, Department of Economics)

  • O’Roark, Brian

    () (Robert Morris University, Department of Economics)

  • Flanegin, Frank

    () (Robert Morris University, Department of Economics)


The world is aging. Scholars have recognized this and have investigated potential intergenerational conflict attributable to resource allocation as elderly retirees consume greater portions of a nation’s GDP. Nations with greater numbers of elderly have less productive economies. What has not been studied in detail is the fact that the rates at which nations age differ from nation to nation and over time. This paper provides a simulation that shows how the timing differences will impact age distributions in the world’s 25 largest economies. The simulation shows how elderly populations will consume increasing portions of national GDP over time and how these impacts will differ from one nation to and other. Younger nations without elderly support burdens will enjoy a competitive advantage in international markets compared to nations with large numbers of elderly. Since the timing of the elderly burden differs nation to nation and because developed nations will find it necessary to be competitive economically, there will be constant pressure on all elderly nations to reduce support for their elderly in order to remain competitive. This could ‘unwind’ economic support for the elderly worldwide. We explore a number of potential public policy responses that a nation could use to minimize the pressure to reduce support for the elderly while remaining economically competitive in international markets. - Il mondo invecchia. Gli studiosi hanno riconosciuto questo fenomeno e hanno esaminato il potenziale conflitto intergenerazionale attribuibile all’allocazione delle risorse nel momento in cui gli anziani, andando in pensione, sottraggono quote più ampie del PIL di un paese. Le economie dei paesi che hanno una maggiore quota di anziani tra la popolazione sono meno produttive. Ciò che non è stato esaminato in dettaglio sono le differenze, tra i diversi paesi, nei tassi di invecchiamento ed il diverso momento in cui l’invecchiamento si verifica. Questo studio fornisce una simulazione che dimostra come le popolazioni di 25 tra le maggiori economie mondiali invecchieranno in tempi diversi nei diversi paesi. Tale simulazione evidenzia come una popolazione più anziana consumi quote di PIL sempre maggiori nel tempo e come questo fenomeno differisca tra un paese e l’altro. I paesi più giovani che non devono sopportare l’onere causato dall’assistenza agli anziani godranno di maggiori vantaggi in termini di competitività sui mercati internazionali, rispetto a quei paesi che contano invece molti anziani tra la popolazione. Poiché il momento in cui si verifica la necessità di fornire assistenza agli anziani è diverso da paese a paese ci saranno costanti pressioni su tutti i paesi ‘vecchi’ affinchè si riduca il sostentamento agli anziani per mantenere la competitività. Nel lavoro vengono esaminate diverse politiche pubbliche finalizzate a fronteggiare le problematiche connesse a queste previsioni.

Suggested Citation

  • Foreman, Stephen & Litzinger, Patrick & O’Roark, Brian & Flanegin, Frank, 2011. "International Aging, Economic Incentives and Public Policy - Invecchiamento della popolazione, incentivi economici e politiche pubbliche," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato Agricoltura di Genova, vol. 64(2), pages 195-209.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:ecoint:0621

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David E. Bloom & David Canning, 2004. "Global demographic change : dimensions and economic significance," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Aug, pages 9-56.
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    More about this item


    Aging; Aging Economics; Aging Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • F00 - International Economics - - General - - - General
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination


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