The impact of population ageing on economic growth: an in-depth bibliometric analysis
The phenomenon of population ageing and its influence on the economic growth of countries has long been the focus of major concern for both governments and the scientific community. Considering the scientific contributions that have been published on the matter in recent years, it seems timely to take a comprehensive and objective account of this stream of the literature. Using bibliometric techniques and based on 144 articles centred on ageing and economic growth gathered from Scopus, we found some interesting evidence: 1) ageing has increasingly attracted more researchers within economics-related literature; 2) more recently, studies have revealed the willingness of researchers to evaluate less immediate mechanisms relating ageing and economic growth, most notably consumption and saving patterns, and human capital; 3) there is a growing need in ageing research to test economic phenomena with real–world data against the theory, as reflected by the noticeable increase in the use of empirical methods; 4) Multivariate analyses have become more prominent since 2006, contrasting with a continuous fall in empirical analyses based on ‘Mathematical modelling’; 5) the effect of an ageing population on economic growth does not essentially vary according to the main mechanism through which ageing impacts on growth (being predominantly negative), but it does vary with the empirical methodologies used; 6) there are very few or a complete lack of studies on developing and less developed countries. The absence of empirical studies on ageing and economic growth for less developed countries combined with the fact that the ratio of an older population in such countries is expected to significantly increase over the next thirty years, makes this topic an imperative for future research.
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