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The demography of youth in developing countries and its economic implications

  • Lam, David

The number of young people is reaching unprecedented levels in most developing countries. In many countries, especially in East Asia and Latin America, youth populations are at or near their peak, and will decline in coming decades. In other countries, especially in Africa and South Asia, youth populations will continue growing for several decades. From an economic perspective, absolute numbers may be less important than the growth rate or relative size of youth cohorts. Growth rates and the ratio of youth to working-age population reached a peak in the 1970s or 1980s in most developing countries. The worst economic pressures of youth demography may have already occurred in many countries, although significant pressure will continue in Africa and South Asia.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4022.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2006
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4022
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  1. Richard B. Freeman, 1979. "The Effect of Demographic Factors on Age-Earnings Profiles," NBER Working Papers 0316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ronald D. Lee, 1994. "Population Age Structure, Intergenerational Transfer, and Wealth: A New Approach, with Applications to the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(4), pages 1027-1063.
  3. Leff, Nathaniel H, 1969. "Dependency Rates and Savings Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(5), pages 886-96, December.
  4. Bloom, David E & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 1998. "Demographic Transitions and Economic Miracles in Emerging Asia," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 12(3), pages 419-55, September.
  5. D. Gale Johnson, 2000. "Population, Food, and Knowledge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 1-14, March.
  6. Joseph Potter & Carl Schmertmann & Suzana Cavenaghi, 2002. "Fertility and development: evidence from Brazil," Demography, Springer, vol. 39(4), pages 739-761, November.
  7. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 1997. "The effects of economic and population growth on national saving and inequality," Demography, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 97-114, February.
  8. Willis, Robert J, 1973. "A New Approach to the Economic Theory of Fertility Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S14-64, Part II, .
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