Global Aging: Issues, Answers, and More Questions
Axel H. Börsch-Supan
Global aging will be a major determinant of long run economic development in industrial and developing countries. The extent of the demographic changes is dramatic and will deeply affect future labor, financial and goods markets. The expected strain on public budgets and especially social security has already received prominent attention, but the aging poses many other economic challenges that threaten productivity and growth if they remain unaddressed. While aging is global, there are marked differences in the speed and the extent of the aging processes across countries. These differences are likely to generate different growth paths and change the international pecking order, e.g. within the G8 countries. Due to the globalization of labor, financial and goods markets, however, these differential demographic developments will also precipitate trade and factor movements. Exploiting these movements offers large chances during the aging process. The purpose of this paper is to review the most important economic chances and challenges due to global aging. It summarizes what we know and identifies research areas where it is important to know more.