Ageing and the economy: time for a debate based on evidence

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Doughney, James (2006) Ageing and the economy: time for a debate based on evidence. Journal of Business Systems, Governance and Ethics, 1 (2). pp. 1-11. ISSN 1833-4318


Policy discussions about ageing have too long taken for granted the untested proposition that population ageing will create an almost insurmountable economic burden for future generations. This paper first outlines the main claims of the ‘ageing crisis’ literature: ageing reduces labour force participation; increased dependency of non-workers upon workers will reduce future living standards; and future taxpayers will bear the cost of their parents’ and grandparents’ longevity. The paper then critically evaluates the evidence. Using an original model that combines economic and productivity growth with projected labour force participation rates, the paper concludes that the above claims are, at best, vastly exaggerated. Indeed, on reasonable assumptions, the model suggests that the ‘crisis’ claims are a furphy.

Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 340000 Economics
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Economics and Finance
Keywords population ageing, economic growth, Australia
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