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Strategies for winning the demographic battle

First published: Nikkei Asian Review, 28/08/2014


Asia’s aging population will inevitably affect its economic growth. But demographics are not destiny; all nations have the capacity to develop ways of navigating the transition toward grayer societies.

The main mechanisms for coping with a stagnant or falling working-age population are immigration; encouraging older people and women to join the workforce; and trying to boost the productivity of tomorrow’s workers. In the interim, resources can be shifted from those who save more than they consume to those who tap their savings to survive.

None of these approaches is easy, and some conflict with long-established or cultural barriers. But doing nothing is a poor option…“more:”