ESRI Studies Series on Ageing
Edited by Paolo Onofri
Chapter 1: Economic growth under the demographic transition: a theory and some international evidence*
Shin-ichi Fukuda and Ryoko Morozumi 1. INTRODUCTION Recent studies based on cross-country regressions establish the existence of strong linkages between demographic change and economic growth.1 In particular, studies such as Higgins and Williamson (1996, 1997), Bloom and Williamson (1998) and Bloom et al. (1999) show that demographic variables have played a large role in East Asia’s economic success. According to these studies, the demographic transition – a change from high to low rates of mortality and fertility – has been more dramatic in East Asia during the twentieth century than in any other regions or historical period. A rapid decline in fertility, induced partly by the region’s economic success, led to a substantial reduction in the youth dependency ratio, thereby helping to boost saving rates and rates of economic growth in the region. East Asia thus has had exceptionally favorable demographic characteristics in the form of high life expectancy and low fertility, despite its initially low income level. These studies, however, point out that the favorable demographic characteristics have a purely transitional eﬀect on economic growth; this eﬀect operates only when the dependent and working-age populations are growing at diﬀerent rates. Therefore, they predict that economic growth in East Asia will likely slow in the future, because of stabilization of fertility rates at their current low levels and increases in the dependency ratio as the population ages.2 In terms of demographic changes, Japan is a leading East Asian country that has enjoyed the transitionally favorable demographic characteristics earlier than...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.