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Demographic Change and New Zealand’s Economic Growth

  • John Bryant

    ()

    (The Treasury)

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.

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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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Paper provided by New Zealand Treasury in its series Treasury Working Paper Series with number 03/04.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nzt:nztwps:03/04
Contact details of provider: Postal: New Zealand Treasury, PO Box 3724, Wellington, New Zealand
Phone: +64-4-472 2733
Fax: +64-4-473 0982
Web page: http://www.treasury.govt.nz

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  1. Namkee Ahn & Pedro Mira, . "A note on the changing relationship between fertility and female employment rates in developed countries," Working Papers 99-09, FEDEA.
  2. James A. Brander & Steve Dowrick, 1993. "The Role of Fertility and Population in Economic Growth: Empirical ResultsFrom Aggregate Cross-National Data," NBER Working Papers 4270, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. John Bryant, 2003. "Modelling the Effect of Population Ageing on Government Social Expenditures," Treasury Working Paper Series 03/15, New Zealand Treasury.
  5. 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.
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