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Peter S. Heller

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.

Mr. Benedict J. Clements, Frank Eich, and Mr. Sanjeev Gupta

Abstract

Pension reform is high on the agenda of many advanced and emerging market economies, for many reasons. First, public pensions often constitute a large share of government expenditure. Second, population aging means that reforms would be needed just to keep pension spending from rising in the future. Third, in many economies, low or falling pension coverage will leave large segments of the population without adequate income in old age and at risk of falling into poverty. Although a number of studies have assessed the effects of pension reforms on fiscal sustainability, a systematic analysis of equity issues in pension systems—and how countries have grappled with these issues—has yet to be undertaken. This book brings together the latest research on equity issues related to pension systems and pension reforms in the post-crisis world. Some of the key issues covered include: the effect of pension systems on intergenerational equity and the impact of pension reforms on poverty, the effects of pension reform measures on fiscal sustainability and equity, and the fiscal consequences of achieving different equity goals. It also presents country case studies. The volume provides a rich menu of material to assist policymakers and academic audiences seeking to understand the latest research in this area, as well as the lessons and challenges for the design of reforms.

International Monetary Fund. Communications Department
Finance & Development
International Monetary Fund. Communications Department
Finance & Development
International Monetary Fund. Communications Department
Finance & Development
International Monetary Fund. Communications Department
Finance & Development
International Monetary Fund. Communications Department
Finance & Development
International Monetary Fund. Communications Department
This issue of Finance & Development discusses link between demographics and economic well-being. In the coming decades, demographics is expected to be more favorable to economic well-being in the less developed regions than in the more developed regions. The age structure of a population reflects mainly its fertility and mortality history. In high-mortality populations, improved survival tends to occur disproportionately among children. The “demographic dividend” refers to the process through which a changing age structure can spur economic growth. It depends, of course, on several complex factors, including the nature and pace of demographic change, the operation of labor and capital markets, macroeconomic management and trade policies, governance, and human capital accumulation. Population aging is the dominant demographic trend of the twenty-first century—a reflection of increasing longevity, declining fertility, and the progression of large cohorts to older ages. Barring a change in current trends, the industrial world’s working-age population will decline over the next generation, and China’s working-age population will decline as well. At the same time, trends toward increased labor force participation of women have played out with, for example, more women than men now working in the United States.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights that Singapore’s economy continues to perform well despite being hit by a combination of cyclical and structural factors, originating both at home and abroad. Growth moderated from 3.3 percent in 2014 to 2 percent in 2015, and it was 2.2 percent in the first half of 2016. Unemployment has remained low, but net employment generation slowed rapidly in 2015, and headline inflation has stayed below zero since late 2014. Growth is projected to moderate slightly to 1.7 percent in 2016 as the full impact of the global shocks experienced in 2015 is felt, and is expected to recover to 2.2 percent in 2017.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This paper discusses selected issues related to the economy of Thailand. The economy of Thailand is largely dependent on China. A 1 percent decline in China’s GDP lowers Thailand’s output by about 0.2 percent. Population aging is another major issue in Thailand. This Association of Southeast Asian Nations country will face the dual challenge of increasing the coverage of the social security system and ensuring its long-term sustainability. Thailand’s financial sector has expanded rapidly over the last decade, and important changes in its structure have taken place. While corporate debt has remained broadly stable, household debt has increased to one of the highest levels among emerging markets, raising concerns about household debt overhang.