The Economics of an Ageing Population

The Economics of an Ageing Population

Macroeconomic Issues

ESRI Studies Series on Ageing

Edited by Paolo Onofri

The Economics of an Ageing Population studies the effects of demographic transition on the economies of industrialised countries. The authors demonstrate that an ageing population does not necessarily lead to a reduction in growth, providing that the working population are more productive and save a greater percentage of their income. They look in detail at the examples of Italy and Japan, two countries which have the fastest ageing populations in Europe and the world respectively.

Chapter 3: Effects of information technology and ageing workforce on labor demand and technological progress in Japanese industries: 1980Â…1998*

Futoshi Kurokawa, Kazunori Minetaki, Kiyohiko G. Nishimura and Masato Shirai

Subjects: economics and finance, public sector economics, social policy and sociology, ageing

Extract

3. Effects of information technology and ageing workforce on labor demand and technological progress in Japanese industries: 1980–1998* Futoshi Kurokawa, Kazunori Minetaki, Kiyohiko G. Nishimura and Masato Shirai 1. INTRODUCTION The Japanese economy has been in the midst of a fundamental change driven by two powerful forces: the ageing population and the rapid progress in information and communication technology (ICT). The macroeconomic impact of the ageing population on the future of the Japanese economy has attracted much attention, particularly with respect to sustainable pension and health-care systems and the optimal policy mix of debts and taxes to finance government expenditure. Advances in ICT have also been a hot issue, both politically and economically, but most studies have concentrated on the microeconomic impacts of ICT on Japanese firms. These two forces may interact in very important ways: for example, rapid advances in ICT may lead to drastic changes in the structure of jobs and the workplace, which may alter the impacts of the ageing workforce. Few studies have been conducted on these interrelationships and their joint impacts on economic growth.1 The purpose of this chapter is to fill this gap. Casual observation suggests that workers and firms can benefit from ICT. The automobile industry has succeeded in substantially shortening the development period of automobiles by relying on computer-aided design (CAD) software. In nonmanufacturing industries, video-scanned data or so-called point-of-sale (POS) systems in the retail sector and automatic teller machines (ATMs) in the banking and securities sectors have decreased...

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