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Ageing Populations: Economic Effects and Implications for Public Finance

  • Robert P. Hagemann
  • Giuseppe Nicoletti

Recent swings in fertility rates, combined with anticipated increases in life expectancy, are expected to result in a significant increase in the number and proportion of elderly persons in the first half of the next century. This "ageing" of OECD populations is expected to have widespread impacts, affecting labour markets, the composition and level of consumption and output, national rates of saving and the rate of capital accumulation, etc. A widely recognized effect of ageing will be the pressures it will place on public sector finances as the share of future output transferred to a large dependent population rises. This paper discusses some of the potential economic impacts of ageing. It also presents an analysis of its impacts on public pension financing requirements, with particular emphasis on selected OECD countries -- Germany, Japan, Sweden and the United States. It is shown that, where desirable, future increases in retirement age and benefit reductions could help reduce ... Les évolutions récentes des taux de natalité, s'ajoutant aux hausses anticipées de l'espérance de vie, auront pour effet de faire croître fortement le nombre et la proportion des personnes âgées dans la première moitié du siècle prochain. On s'attend à ce que ce "viellissement" de la population ait de multiples effets économiques, affectant les marchés du travail, la structure et le niveau de la consommation et de la production, les taux d'épargne nationaux et les rythmes d'accumulation du capital, etc. On s'accorde à reconnaître qu'il en résultera une pression sur les finances publiques, au fur et à mesure qu'une part croissante de la production devra être transférée à une population dépendante plus nombreuse. Cette étude traite de certaines des incidences économiques potentielles du vieillissement de la population. Elle tente également de cerner l'impact de ce phénomène sur les charges de financement des retraites publiques, notamment en ce qui concerne quatre pays de l'OCDE -- ...

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 61.

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Date of creation: Jan 1989
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Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:61-en
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