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Assessing the Robustness of Demographic Projections in OECD Countries


  • Frédéric Gonand


This paper aims at assessing the robustness of demographic projections to different assumptions on mortality, fertility and migration. It builds on a small-scale simulation model for 23 OECD countries, which reproduces closely national projections under similar demographic assumptions. Up to 2020, projections are relatively robust to alternative hypothesis. However, uncertainty about future longevity gains and fertility rates account for a large range of results for dependency ratios by 2050. Eventually, a long lasting surge in fertility may not be enough to fully offset the impact on dependency ratio of increases in longevity in line with past trends (i.e., around two years every decade). Sensibilité des projections démographiques dans les pays de l'OCDE: une évaluation Ce document évalue la sensibilité des projections démographiques à différentes hypothèses de mortalité, de natalité et d’immigration. Un modèle simplifié de simulation démographique est construit pour 23 pays de l’OCDE qui permet de reproduire fidèlement les projections des Etats membres à hypothèses identiques. A l’horizon 2020, les projections démographiques seraient assez robustes à leurs hypothèses. A l’horizon 2050, la difficulté à prévoir les évolutions futures de l’espérance de vie et de la natalité introduit une incertitude importante quant au niveau du ratio de dépendance. Enfin, l’effet sur le ratio de dépendance lié à un redressement durable du taux de fertilité ne compenserait pas l’impact d’une poursuite des gains d’espérance de vie selon leur rythme passé (i.e., de deux années par décade).

Suggested Citation

  • Frédéric Gonand, 2005. "Assessing the Robustness of Demographic Projections in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 464, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:464-en

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    Cited by:

    1. Frederic Gonand, 2014. "Dynamic Impacts on Growth and Intergenerational Effects of Energy Transition in a Time of Fiscal Consolidation," Working Papers 1401, Chaire Economie du climat.
    2. repec:dau:papers:123456789/12507 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Rossana Merola & Douglas Sutherland, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation: Part 3. Long-Run Projections and Fiscal Gap Calculations," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 934, OECD Publishing.

    More about this item


    demographic simulations; dependency ratio; espérance de vie; longevity; ratio de dépendance; simulations démographiques;

    JEL classification:

    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts


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