The Economic Implications of Aging Societies: The Costs of Living Happily Ever After

The world is getting older and no one knows exactly what life will be like in tomorrow’s older societies. But we do know that age dependency ratios - the ratio of retirees to workers - will be much higher than we see today. The implications of this trend are plain. The combined effects of fewer workers, more retirees and longer retirement periods threaten not only the sustainability of pension systems but also the broader economic prospects of many developed countries. This book describes current trends in birth rates, longevity and labor force participation and productivity, the cross-border flow of capital, the globalization of labor markets, the financial viability of social insurance programs, and the ways economic output is shared between working-age and retiree populations. Our most effective solution will likely be a multifaceted one: more workers, longer careers, higher productivity, and more global exchange and cooperation.

• Senior author is one of the world’s leading experts on the subject • Developed for the World Economic Forum, super-prestigious political economic group based in Davos, Switzerland • Highly accessible treatment (no math) for world multidisciplinary audience, at level of WSJ/The Economist


1. Introduction; 2. Population developments in a global context; 3. Pension options, motivations and choices; 4. Pension structures and the implications of aging; 5. Retirement systems and the economic costs of aging; 6. Beyond pensions to health care considerations; 7. Labor supply and living standards; 8. Too many wants or too few workers?; 9. Alternatives to finding more workers; 10. Aligning retirement policy with labor needs; 11. Funding pensions and securing retiree claims; 12. Macroeconomic policies for improved living standards; 13. Risks associated with alternative public policies; 14. Roadmap to the future.


\'… \'perhaps the most comprehensive analysis to date of the macroeconomic implications over the next few decades of current demographic trends in a wide range of countries.\' The material is presented in a highly readable, informative, and non-partisan format that draws the reader inexorably through the maze of issues and their potential solutions.\' The Journal of PEF