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From Red to Gray : The "Third Transition" of Aging Populations in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union

  • Mukesh Chawla
  • Gordon Betcherman
  • Arup Banerji
Registered author(s):

    This report focuses on the challenges that the region's aging countries will now face in having to deal with multiple transitions. It argues that their task ahead, though uniquely daunting, is by no means impossible. Indeed, many of the potential problems can be addressed through sensible and thoughtful policies that can be enacted over the next few years. The only danger likely lies in complacency, in not being proactive in addressing the challenges. This report finds, first, that some of the concerns about aging in Eastern European and Former Soviet countries are probably misplaced. Second, the analysis in the report validates concerns about future fiscal strains in some of the region's aging countries, but finds that many of the drivers of higher future public expenditures are unrelated to aging. This report is particularly focused on the future-a future in the region that is critically dependent on actions that countries and societies take now, and over the next few years. The report sends two central messages, which are analyzed against the different patterns of aging across the region. Red light to green light: Growing older does not have to mean growing slower. Aging is not a stop sign for growth-if countries enact policies that boost productivity and labor force participation. Red ink to black ink: Waging sensible policies can ease aging's spending impact. The policies needed to manage much of the expected jump in public spending-especially the impacts on pensions and on health care-are well known. They need only to be enacted and implemented.

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    This book is provided by The World Bank in its series World Bank Publications with number 6741 and published in 2007.
    ISBN: 978-0-8213-7129-9
    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:6741
    Contact details of provider: Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
    Phone: (202) 477-1234
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    10. Holzmann, Robert, 2005. "Demographic Alternatives for Aging Industrial Countries: Increased Total Fertility Rate, Labor Force Participation, or Immigration," IZA Discussion Papers 1885, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    12. Loayza, Norman & Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus & Serven, Luis, 2000. "What drives private saving around the world?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2309, The World Bank.
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    17. Ray C. Fair, 1991. "How Fast Do Old Men Slow Down?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 989, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    18. Paul R. Gregory & Manouchehr Mokhtari & Wolfram Schrettl, 1999. "Do The Russians Really Save That Much? - Alternate Estimates From The Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 694-703, November.
    19. David W. Galenson & Bruce A. Weinberg, 1999. "Age and the Quality of Work: The Case of Modern American Painters," NBER Working Papers 7122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. James M. Poterba, 2004. "Impact of population aging on financial markets in developed countries," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q IV, pages 43-53.
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    23. Robert Holzmann & Richard Hinz, 2005. "Old Age Income Support in the 21st century: An International Perspective on Pension Systems and Reform," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7336, December.
    24. Oliveira Martins, Joaquim & Gonand, Frédéric & Antolín, Pablo & de la Maisonneuve, Christine & Yoo, Kwang-Yeol, 2005. "The Impact of Ageing on Demand, Factor Markets and Growth," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/11049, Paris Dauphine University.
    25. World Bank, 2002. "Transition, The First Ten Years : Analysis and Lessons for Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14042, December.
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