IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/22560.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Africa’s Prospects for Enjoying a Demographic Dividend

Author

Listed:
  • David E. Bloom
  • Michael Kuhn
  • Klaus Prettner

Abstract

We assess Africa’s prospects for enjoying a demographic dividend. While fertility rates and dependency ratios in Africa remain high, they have started to decline. According to UN projections, they will fall further in the coming decades such that by the mid-21st century the ratio of the working-age to dependent population will be greater than in Asia, Europe, and Northern America. This projection suggests Africa has considerable potential to enjoy a demographic dividend. Whether and when it actually materializes, and also its magnitude, hinges on policies and institutions in key realms that include macroeconomic management, human capital, trade, governance, and labor and capital markets. Given strong complementarities among these areas, coordinated policies will likely be most effective in generating the momentum needed to pull Africa’s economies out of a development trap.

Suggested Citation

  • David E. Bloom & Michael Kuhn & Klaus Prettner, 2016. "Africa’s Prospects for Enjoying a Demographic Dividend," NBER Working Papers 22560, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22560
    Note: DEV
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w22560.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David E. BLOOM & Jocelyn E. FINLAY, 2009. "Demographic Change and Economic Growth in Asia," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 4(1), pages 45-64.
    2. Stefania Albanesi & Claudia Olivetti, 2016. "Gender Roles and Medical Progress," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(3), pages 650-695.
    3. Jane G Fortson, 2011. "Mortality Risk and Human Capital Investment: The Impact of HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 1-15, February.
    4. Agénor, Pierre-Richard & Bayraktar, Nihal & El Aynaoui, Karim, 2008. "Roads out of poverty? Assessing the links between aid, public investment, growth, and poverty reduction," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 277-295, June.
    5. Winford H. Masanjala & Chris Papageorgiou, 2008. "Rough and lonely road to prosperity: a reexamination of the sources of growth in Africa using Bayesian model averaging," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(5), pages 671-682.
    6. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 279-288, Part II, .
    7. Garth Frazer & Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2010. "Trade Growth under the African Growth and Opportunity Act," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 128-144, February.
    8. Avner Ahituv, 2001. "Be fruitful or multiply: On the interplay between fertility and economic development," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 14(1), pages 51-71.
    9. Dierk Herzer & Holger Strulik & Sebastian Vollmer, 2012. "The long-run determinants of fertility: one century of demographic change 1900–1999," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 357-385, December.
    10. Duncan Thomas, 1990. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 635-664.
    11. Baudin, Thomas & de la Croix, David & Gobbi, Paula, 2017. "Endogenous Childlessness and Stages of Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 12071, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. 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.
    13. Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, 2012. "AIDS, “reversal” of the demographic transition and economic development: evidence from Africa," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(3), pages 871-897, July.
    14. Cuddington, John T. & Hancock, John D., 1994. "Assessing the impact of AIDS on the growth path of the Malawian economy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 363-368, April.
    15. Jan Willem Gunning & Paul Collier, 1999. "Explaining African Economic Performance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 64-111, March.
    16. Oster, Emily, 2012. "HIV and sexual behavior change: Why not Africa?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 35-49.
    17. Bloom, David E & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 1998. "Demographic Transitions and Economic Miracles in Emerging Asia," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 12(3), pages 419-455, September.
    18. Jessica Cohen & Pascaline Dupas & Simone Schaner, 2015. "Price Subsidies, Diagnostic Tests, and Targeting of Malaria Treatment: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(2), pages 609-645, February.
    19. Quamrul H. Ashraf & David N. Weil & Joshua Wilde, 2013. "The Effect of Fertility Reduction on Economic Growth," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 39(1), pages 97-130, March.
    20. Agénor, Pierre-Richard, 2010. "A theory of infrastructure-led development," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 932-950, May.
    21. Matthias DOEPKE, 2015. "Gary Becker on the Quantity and Quality of Children," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 81(1), pages 59-66, March.
    22. Galor, Oded, 2005. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 171-293 Elsevier.
    23. David E. Bloom & Michael Kuhn & Klaus Prettner, 2015. "The Contribution of Female Health to Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 21411, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. David de la Croix & Marie Vander Donckt, 2010. "Would Empowering Women Initiate the Demographic Transition in Least Developed Countries?," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(2), pages 85-129.
    25. Erica Field & Omar Robles & Maximo Torero, 2009. "Iodine Deficiency and Schooling Attainment in Tanzania," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 140-169, October.
    26. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
    27. Timothy J. Hatton & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2003. "Demographic and Economic Pressure on Emigration out of Africa," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(3), pages 465-486, September.
    28. Bloom, David E. & Freeman, Richard B., 1988. "Economic development and the timing and components of population growth," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 57-81, April.
    29. Théophile T. Azomahou & Raouf Boucekkine & Bity Diene, 2016. "HIV/AIDS and Development: A Reappraisal of the Productivity and Factor Accumulation Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 472-477, May.
    30. Galor, Oded & Weil, David N, 1996. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 374-387, June.
    31. Marchiori, Luca & Maystadt, Jean-François & Schumacher, Ingmar, 2012. "The impact of weather anomalies on migration in sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 355-374.
    32. Hendrik Dalen & George Groenewold & Jeannette Schoorl, 2005. "Out of Africa: what drives the pressure to emigrate?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 18(4), pages 741-778, November.
    33. Oded Galor, 2011. "Unified Growth Theory and Comparative Development," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, issue 2, pages 9-21, April-Jun.
    34. Benno J. Ndulu & Stephen A. O'Connell, 1999. "Governance and Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 41-66, Summer.
    35. de la CROIX, David & VANDER DONCKT, Marie, 2008. "Would empowering women initiate the demographic transition in least-developed countries?," CORE Discussion Papers 2008043, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    36. Jane G. Fortson, "undated". "HIV/AIDS and Fertility," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 38387ebd1f044714b4a5ab70e, Mathematica Policy Research.
    37. David Bloom & David Canning & Günther Fink & Jocelyn Finlay, 2009. "Fertility, female labor force participation, and the demographic dividend," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 79-101, June.
    38. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem, 2003. "A stochastic model of mortality, fertility, and human capital investment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 103-118, February.
    39. Chinhui Juhn & Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan & Belgi Turan, 2013. "HIV and fertility in Africa: first evidence from population-based surveys," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(3), pages 835-853, July.
    40. Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & Michael Kremer, 2015. "Education, HIV, and Early Fertility: Experimental Evidence from Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(9), pages 2757-2797, September.
    41. Jesús Crespo Cuaresma & Wolfgang Lutz & Warren Sanderson, 2014. "Is the Demographic Dividend an Education Dividend?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(1), pages 299-315, February.
    42. Bhalotra, Sonia & Rawlings, Samantha B., 2011. "Intergenerational persistence in health in developing countries: The penalty of gender inequality?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(3), pages 286-299.
    43. Hans-Peter Kohler & Jere Behrman & Susan Watkins, 2001. "The density of social networks and fertility decisions: evidence from south nyanza district, kenya," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(1), pages 43-58, February.
    44. repec:mpr:mprres:6928 is not listed on IDEAS
    45. Seema Jayachandran & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2009. "Life Expectancy and Human Capital Investments: Evidence from Maternal Mortality Declines," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(1), pages 349-397.
    46. Amelia Santos-Paulino & A. P. Thirlwall, 2004. "The impact of trade liberalisation on exports, imports and the balance of payments of developing countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(493), pages 50-72, February.
    47. Allen Kelley & Robert Schmidt, 2005. "Evolution of recent economic-demographic modeling: A synthesis," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 18(2), pages 275-300, June.
    48. Hongbin Li & Junsen Zhang, 2007. "Do High Birth Rates Hamper Economic Growth?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 110-117, February.
    49. Oded Galor, 2011. "Unified Growth Theory," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9477.
    50. Rodrigo R. Soares & Bruno L. S. Falcão, 2008. "The Demographic Transition and the Sexual Division of Labor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(6), pages 1058-1104, December.
    51. Jane G. Fortson, 2011. "Mortality Risk and Human Capital Investment: The Impact of HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 4fed8158611247e99f2fc838e, Mathematica Policy Research.
    52. Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2011. "Are Third World Emigration Forces Abating?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 20-32, January.
    53. Alwyn Young, 2005. "The Gift of the Dying: The Tragedy of AIDS and the Welfare of Future African Generations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 423-466.
    54. repec:eee:joecag:v:7:y:2016:i:c:p:106-122 is not listed on IDEAS
    55. Hoyt Bleakley & Fabian Lange, 2009. "Chronic Disease Burden and the Interaction of Education, Fertility, and Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 52-65, February.
    56. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
    57. Pascaline Dupas, 2011. "Health Behavior in Developing Countries," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 425-449, September.
    58. Paul Collier & Gordon Conway & Tony Venables, 2008. "Climate change and Africa," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(2), pages 337-353, Summer.
    59. Allen Kelley & Robert Schmidt, 1995. "Aggregate population and economic growth correlations: The role of the components of demographic change," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 32(4), pages 543-555, November.
    60. Alwyn Young, 2007. "In sorrow to bring forth children: fertility amidst the plague of HIV," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 283-327, December.
    61. Bhattacharya, Joydeep & Chakraborty, Shankha, 2014. "Contraception and the Fertility Transition," Staff General Research Papers Archive 38182, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    62. Kelley, Allen C. & Schmidt, Robert M., 1995. "Aggregate Population and Economic Growth Correlations: The Role of the Components of Demographic Change," Working Papers 95-37, Duke University, Department of Economics.
    63. Block, Steven A., 2002. "Political business cycles, democratization, and economic reform: the case of Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 205-228, February.
    64. Hoyt Bleakley, 2007. "Disease and Development: Evidence from Hookworm Eradication in the American South," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 73-117.
    65. Adrienne M. Lucas, 2010. "Malaria Eradication and Educational Attainment: Evidence from Paraguay and Sri Lanka," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 46-71, April.
    66. T. Paul Schultz, 1990. "Testing the Neoclassical Model of Family Labor Supply and Fertility," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 599-634.
    67. Schober, Thomas & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2011. "Gender Wage Inequality and Economic Growth: Is There Really a Puzzle?--A Comment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 1476-1484, August.
    68. Ray Rees & Ray Riezman, 2012. "Globalization, Gender, And Growth," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 58(1), pages 107-117, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22560. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.