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Giuseppe Carone and Declan Costello

The Economics of Demographics provides a detailed look at how the biggest demographic upheaval in history is affecting global development. The issue explores demographic change and the effects of population aging from a variety of angles, including pensions, health care, financial markets, and migration, and looks specifically at the impact in Europe and Asia. Picture This looks at global demographic trends, while Back to Basics explains the concept of the demographic dividend. Country Focus spotlights Kazakhstan, while People in Economics profiles Nobel prize winner Robert Mundell. IMF Economic Counsellor Raghuram Rajan argues for further change in India's style of government in his column, Straight Talk.

International Monetary Fund

The Selected Issues Paper focuses on Cyprus' banking sector vulnerabilities and its pension system. The most salient risks for the banking sector come from commercial banks domiciled in Cyprus. These banks have the strongest links with the local economy and are likely to experience further deterioration of their loan portfolios in both Greece and Cyprus. The paper reveals that, in 2011, Cypriot banks face capital needs estimated at €3.6 billion on a preliminary basis.

International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper explores the economic consequences of aging and its impact on long-term fiscal sustainability for Cyprus. The study analyzes the potential macroeconomic impact of different approaches to deal with the fiscal costs of aging. It goes beyond a simple quantification of the fiscal impact by explicitly examining the trade-offs of alternative policies within the context of a general equilibrium overlapping generation framework. It is concluded that addressing the fiscal consequences of aging will require increasing the retirement age to 65 years, followed by further increases to keep up with demographic trends.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix provides a brief assessment of Cyprus’s external position and its composition in an international perspective. It discusses estimates of Cyprus’s external position based on partial International Investment Position data as well as on cumulative flows, and compares its level and composition with advanced Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) economies and with other accession countries. It finds that a precise assessment of Cyprus’s overall external position is hindered by the lack of data on nondebt stocks. The paper also analyzes aging and long-term fiscal sustainability in Cyprus.
Mr. Willy A Hoffmaister, Mr. Jaime Guajardo, and Mr. Mario Catalan
How will the world-wide decline in real interest rates associated with global aging affect small open economies (SOEs) with aging populations? Lower interest rates will result in higher capital-labor ratios and increased wages; higher wages, in turn, will be passed on to pension benefits, exacerbating aging-related fiscal pressures. The pass-through effect will be stronger if pensions are indexed to nominal wages rather than prices. Using an overlapping generations model, the paper illustrates the interest rates transmission mechanism and its interaction with pension indexation for the case of Cyprus. In addition, the paper evaluates the capacity of pension reforms to insure the economy against long-run movements in world interest rates. It concludes that pension reforms, particularly those that change the indexation of pensions from wages to prices, provide substantial macro-insurance and shock absorption benefits.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

In Austria, the ratio of the elderly to people of working A. age will double over the next 50 years. This dramatic demographic shift—brought on by a major decline in fertility and mortality rates since the 1960s—will be more severe than in many other industrial countries (see chart). It will increase public spending on pensions, health care, and long-term care and decrease tax and social security revenues. In a new IMF Working Paper, LeifLybecker Eskesen concludes that ensuring long-term fiscal sustainability in Austria will require bold reforms.