Possible effects of demographic change - An overview
One of the more important influences shaping the future economic conditions of the highly industrialized countries is the decline and aging of their population. The article is a comprehensive survey of the impact of this development on key economic variables and the institutions of the welfare state. While the overall consequence of the aging process on productivity growth is more likely to be negative, there are also some offsetting forces like the increase in the capital intensity. The institutions of the welfare state, which are based on intergenerational transfers, will have to be reformed, in order to bring them in line with the demographic process. The prediction of a decrease in the rate of unemployment as a consequence of a declining labor force is according to our analysis not justified.