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Demographic Changes and International Factor Mobility

  • John F. Helliwell

This paper reviews the extent and policy implications of linkages between demographic changes and international factor mobility. Evidence is found of significant demographic effects on both migration and the current account, but for different reasons neither increased migration nor international transfers of savings is expected to offer much assistance in digesting the variety of demographic transitions expected over the next fifty years. The paper also examines more briefly the effects of demography on the factor content of international trade, as exemplified by offshore provision of back-office and other services previously provided closer to home. When considering the consequences of using international capital movements and especially migration to mediate international differences in demographic patterns, I broaden the focus from the usual economic variables, such as the size and distribution of incomes and employment, to consider explicit measures of well-being, which have been shown to depend on far more than economic variables. This has implications for a whole range of policies, both domestic and international, that might help deal with national and global demographic transitions.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10945.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10945.

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Date of creation: Dec 2004
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Publication status: published as John F. Helliwell, 2004. "Demographic changes and international factor mobility," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Aug, pages 369-420.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10945
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  1. Dekle, Robert, 1996. "Saving-investment associations and capital mobility On the evidence from Japanese regional data," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1-2), pages 53-72, August.
  2. Timothy J. Hatton & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2002. "What Fundamentals Drive World Migration?," NBER Working Papers 9159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Maurice Obstfeld and Kenneth Rogoff., 2000. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C00-112, University of California at Berkeley.
  4. Taylor, Alan M., 2002. "A century of current account dynamics," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 725-748, November.
  5. Taylor, Alan M & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 1994. "Capital Flows to the New World as an Intergenerational Transfer," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 348-71, April.
  6. Bayoumi, Tamim A. & Rose, Andrew K., 1993. "Domestic savings and intra-national capital flows," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1197-1202, August.
  7. Maurice Obstfeld & Alan M. Taylor, 2002. "Globalization and Capital Markets," NBER Working Papers 8846, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. BRYANT Ralph C. (translator: SHIMASAWA Manabu ), 2004. "DEMOGRAPHIC PRESSURES ON PUBLIC PENSION SYSTEMS AND GOVERNMENT BUDGETS IN OPEN ECONOMIES (in Japanese)," ESRI Discussion paper series 109, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  9. French, Kenneth R & Poterba, James M, 1991. "Investor Diversification and International Equity Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 222-26, May.
  10. Marianne Baxter & Urban J. Jermann, 1995. "The International Diversification Puzzle is Worse Than You Think," NBER Working Papers 5019, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Baldwin, Richard & Venables, Anthony J, 1994. "International Migration, Capital Mobility and Transitional Dynamics," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 61(243), pages 285-300, August.
  12. Higgins, Matthew, 1998. "Demography, National Savings, and International Capital Flows," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 343-69, May.
  13. Engel, Charles & Rogers, John H, 1996. "How Wide Is the Border?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1112-25, December.
  14. Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1998. "The Age of Mass Migration: Causes and Economic Impact," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195116519, March.
  15. John F. Helliwell & Ross McKitrick, 1998. "Comparing Capital Mobility Across Provincial and National Borders," NBER Working Papers 6624, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Devesh Kapur, 2001. "Diasporas and Technology Transfer," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(2), pages 265-286.
  17. McCallum, John, 1995. "National Borders Matter: Canada-U.S. Regional Trade Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 615-23, June.
  18. Davis, Donald R. & David E. Weinstein & Scott C. Bradford & Kazushige Shimpo, 1997. "Using International and Japanese Regional Data to Determine When the Factor Abundance Theory of Trade Works," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 421-46, June.
  19. John Helliwell, 2007. "Well-Being and Social Capital: Does Suicide Pose a Puzzle?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 81(3), pages 455-496, May.
  20. Sinn, Stefan, 1992. "Saving-Investment Correlations and Capital Mobility: On the Evidence from Annual Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(414), pages 1162-70, September.
  21. Michael Dooley & Jeffrey Frankel & Donald J. Mathieson, 1987. "International Capital Mobility: What Do Saving-Investment Correlations Tell Us?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 34(3), pages 503-530, September.
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