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Demographic Change and New Zealand’s Economic Growth

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Abstract

New Zealand has, by OECD standards, high birth rates. This has provided New Zealand with a relatively young population and continuing labour force growth. Both these features are, on many accounts, good for economic growth. Yet most discussions of New Zealand’s economic performance and its prospects for moving up the OECD income distribution have paid little attention to demography. This paper defines “demography” narrowly as population size, growth, and age-structure, and examines the likely effects on New Zealand’s growth rate in GDP per capita, relative to the rest of the OECD. The first part of the paper gives a broad overview of trends in population size and age structure in New Zealand and elsewhere in the OECD. The second part describes selected demographic trends in more detail and discusses their economic significance. The overall conclusion is future demographic trends are likely to provide New Zealand with a small advantage, relative to the rest of the OECD.

Suggested Citation

  • John Bryant, 2003. "Demographic Change and New Zealand’s Economic Growth," Treasury Working Paper Series 03/04, New Zealand Treasury.
  • Handle: RePEc:nzt:nztwps:03/04
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    File URL: http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/research-policy/wp/2003/03-04/twp03-04.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hurd, Michael D., 1993. "The economics of individual aging," Handbook of Population and Family Economics,in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 891-966 Elsevier.
    2. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka & Phillip Swagel, 2002. "The Aging Population and the Size of the Welfare State," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 900-918, August.
    3. Pedro Mira & Namkee Ahn, 2002. "A note on the changing relationship between fertility and female employment rates in developed countries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(4), pages 667-682.
    4. Brander, James A & Dowrick, Steve, 1994. "The Role of Fertility and Population in Economic Growth: Empirical Results from Aggregate Cross-National Data," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 7(1), pages 1-25.
    5. John Bryant, 2003. "Modelling the Effect of Population Ageing on Government Social Expenditures," Treasury Working Paper Series 03/15, New Zealand Treasury.
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    Cited by:

    1. John Bryant, 2003. "The Ageing of the New Zealand Population, 1881-2051," Treasury Working Paper Series 03/27, New Zealand Treasury.
    2. Arthur Grimes & Sean Hyland, 2015. "A New Cross-Country Measure of Material Wellbeing and Inequality: Methodology, Construction and Results," Working Papers 15_09, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    3. Geoffrey T. F. Brooke & Anthony M. Endres & Alan J. Rogers, 2016. "The Economists and New Zealand Population: Problems and Policies 1900–1980s," Working Papers 2016-08, Auckland University of Technology, Department of Economics.
    4. Cat Moody, 2006. "Migration and Economic Growth: a 21st Century Perspective," Treasury Working Paper Series 06/02, New Zealand Treasury.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    New Zealand; OECD; demography; economic growth;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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