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Relative Economic Decline and Unrealized Demographic Opportunity in the Philippines

Author

Listed:
  • Christopher Edmonds

    () (Economics Study Area, East-West Center)

  • Manabu Fujimura

    (Economics Department, Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo)

Abstract

The paper examines the long-run relationship between demographic and macroeconomic development trends in the Philippines, and compares trends observed in that country to trends in eight regional neighbors in East and Southeast Asia. The Philippines stands out from these countries in that available data suggests the country has completed its demographic transition to a much lesser extent than comparison countries. Analysis of trends shows that the Philippine economy has lost ground to the country's neighbors over the past 50 years, and that its unfulfilled demographic transition has played a key role in explaining the country's relative economic decline. The paper reviews established economic theory and a few simple counter-factual simulations to explain and support this conclusion. The authors also consider the relationship between demographic trends and associated economic developments, and the political situation in the country. Despite discouraging findings regarding the Philippines' relative economic decline, the paper notes the country's more favorable performance in social development vis-à-vis its neighbors. The paper ends on an optimistic note, pointing to: recent economic reforms, the unrealized potential of a 'demographic dividend,' rising demand and use of modern family planning among Philippine households, and the favorable long run outlook for Philippine Overseas Contract Workers, as causes for optimism regarding future demographic change and the country's economic prospects.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher Edmonds & Manabu Fujimura, 2005. "Relative Economic Decline and Unrealized Demographic Opportunity in the Philippines," Economics Study Area Working Papers 77, East-West Center, Economics Study Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:ewc:wpaper:wp77
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    File URL: http://www.eastwestcenter.org/fileadmin/stored/pdfs/ECONwp077.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert M. Solow, 1956. "A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 65-94.
    2. Ruperto P. Alonzo, et al, 2004. "Population and Poverty : The Real Score," UP School of Economics Discussion Papers 200415, University of the Philippines School of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mello, Michelle Marie & Powlowski, Marcus & Nañagas, Juan M.P. & Bossert, Thomas, 2006. "The role of law in public health: The case of family planning in the Philippines," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 384-396, July.
    2. Salas, J.M. Ian S. & Abrigo, Michael Ralph M. & Racelis, Rachel H., 2012. "Implications of Projected Philippine Population Growth, Age Structure Change, and Aging: Using National Transfer Accounts Results," Discussion Papers DP 2012-30, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • N35 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Asia including Middle East
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • E66 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General Outlook and Conditions

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