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The advantages of demographic change after the wave: fewer and older, but healthier, greener, and more productive?

  • Fanny A. Kluge

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Emilio Zagheni

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Elke Loichinger

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Tobias C. Vogt

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

Registered author(s):

    Population aging is an inevitable global demographic process. Most of the literature on the consequences of demographic change focuses on the economic and societal challenges that we will face as people live longer and have fewer children. In this paper, we (a) describe key trends and projections of the magnitude and speed of population aging; (b) discuss the economic, social, and environmental consequences of population aging; and (c) investigate some of the opportunities that aging societies create. We use Germany as a case study. However, the general insights that we obtain can be generalized to other developed countries. We argue that there may be positive unintended side effects of population aging that can be leveraged to address pressing environmental problems and issues of gender inequality and intergenerational ties.

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    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2014-003.

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    Length: 29 pages
    Date of creation: Jan 2014
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2014-003
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

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    1. Friedrich Breyer & Stefan Felder, 2004. "Life Expectancy and Health Care Expenditures: A New Calculation for Germany Using the Costs of Dying," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 452, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Doblhammer, Gabriele & Kytir, Josef, 2001. "Compression or expansion of morbidity? Trends in healthy-life expectancy in the elderly Austrian population between 1978 and 1998," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 385-391, February.
    3. Jimeno, Juan F. & Rojas, Juan A. & Puente, Sergio, 2008. "Modelling the impact of aging on social security expenditures," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 201-224, March.
    4. John Bongaarts, 2004. "Population Aging and the Rising Cost of Public Pensions," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 30(1), pages 1-23.
    5. Axel Börsch-Supan, 2003. "Labor Market Effects of Population Aging," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 17(SpecialIs), pages 5-44, 08.
    6. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467.
    7. Alexander Ludwig & Thomas Schelkle & Edgar Vogel, 2011. "Online Appendix to "Demographic Change, Human Capital and Welfare"," Technical Appendices 08-168, Review of Economic Dynamics.
    8. Schulz, Erika & Leidl, Reiner & Konig, Hans-Helmut, 2004. "The impact of ageing on hospital care and long-term care--the example of Germany," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 57-74, January.
    9. Peter Zweifel & Stefan Felder & Markus Meiers, 1999. "Ageing of population and health care expenditure: a red herring?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(6), pages 485-496.
    10. Emilio Zagheni, 2011. "The Leverage of Demographic Dynamics on Carbon Dioxide Emissions: Does Age Structure Matter?," Demography, Springer, vol. 48(1), pages 371-399, February.
    11. Ludwig, Alexander & Schelkle, Thomas & Vogel, Edgar, 2010. "Demographic Change, Human Capital and Welfare," MEA discussion paper series 10196, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    12. Fanny A. Kluge, 2009. "Transfers, consumption and income over the lifecycle in Germany," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2009-014, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    13. Samir KC & Bilal Barakat & Anne Goujon & Vegard Skirbekk & Warren C. Sanderson & Wolfgang Lutz, 2010. "Projection of populations by level of educational attainment, age, and sex for 120 countries for 2005-2050," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 22(15), pages 383-472, March.
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