Demographics and Destiny

2020-03-02T17:22:06-05:00March 2, 2020|

By Gita Bhatt

When I visit my home country, India, I am always struck by how young it looks. From the big cities to the tiny villages, one can see the hopes and aspirations of twenty-somethings, many in search of work. In Japan, demographic trends have been moving in the opposite direction. Homes sit vacant, and villages are vanishing, as people have fewer children. In response, the Japanese are embracing technology to fill the gaps through innovations like robot chefs and automated medical services. […]

Chart of the Week: Top 5 Charts

2019-03-13T15:56:44-04:00July 25, 2018|

By IMFBlog

July 25, 2018

People wait while their electric cars charge, in Xiamen, China (photo: Zhang Guojun/Newscom)

Rank has its privileges, the saying goes.  This week our editors pull rank and pick their favorite charts from our Chart of the Week series.  […]

Productivity, Technology, and Demographics

2019-03-25T16:18:29-04:00May 5, 2017|

By IMFBlog

May 5, 2017

Hal Varian, chief economist at Google, says that if technology cannot boost productivity, then we are in real trouble.

In a podcast interview, Varian says thirty years from now, the global labor force will look very different, as working age populations in many countries, especially in advanced economies, start to shrink. While some workers today worry they will lose their jobs because of technology, economists are wondering if it will boost productivity enough to compensate for the shifting demographics—the so-called productivity paradox.

[…]

A Sea Change: The New Migration from sub-Saharan Africa

2019-03-26T15:03:51-04:00November 2, 2016|

By Jesus Gonzalez-Garcia and Montfort Mlachila

Versions in Français (French), and Português (Portuguese)

Migration of sub-Saharan Africans is growing rapidly. Just like the region’s population, the number of migrants doubled since 1990 to reach about 20 million in 2013. In the coming decades, migration will expand given the demographic boom in the working-age population—the group that typically feeds migration. We studied these trends in a recent paper because both receiving and sending countries need the right policies so all can benefit.

[…]

Population Pressures

2019-03-27T12:02:49-04:00February 25, 2016|

Jeff HaydenBy Jeff Hayden

(Versions in عربي and Español)

Say “population growth” and many people immediately think of resources under stress. The mind jumps to 19th century scholar Thomas Malthus, who saw population outstripping the food supply, or to Paul Ehrlich, whose 1968 book The Population Bomb warned of global catastrophe from overpopulation.

[…]

It’s the Years, Not The Mileage: IMF Analysis of Pension Reforms in Advanced Economies

2017-04-15T14:13:20-04:00February 1, 2012|

Indiana Jones, the fictional character of the namesake movies, once said “It’s not the years, it’s the mileage.” The quote comes to mind as many advanced economies wrestle with the best way for pension reform to ensure both retirees and governments don’t go broke. Our view, explained in a new study, is that in fact the years do matter. Our analysis shows that gradually raising retirement ages could help countries contain pension spending increases and boost economic growth.

The Health Care Challenge: Not Just a U.S. Problem

2017-04-15T14:43:17-04:00November 20, 2009|

Health spending in OECD countries increased from 4½ percent of GDP in 1960 to 12½ percent in 2007. What accounts for this dramatic increase? Income growth, insurance, demographics, and technological change all contributed, but the latter was the key driver.
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