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Extending Demographic Windows of Opportunity: Evidence from Asia

Joelle H. Fong

Asia-Pacific Journal of Risk and Insurance, 2017, vol. 11, issue 1, 23

Abstract: Population aging and a shrinking workforce creates a significant drag on opportunities for economic growth. Specifically, many economies in Asia will see their demographic windows of economic opportunity close within the next two decades or so. One widely explored policy response among governments has been to encourage longer working lives or delay retirement. This paper traces developments in retirement age policies for rapidly aging Asian economies, and investigates the effect of recent reforms in old-age employment practices on their demographic windows. We find that increases in retirement age based on current policy prescriptions can help these aging economies extend their demographic windows by another two to seven years. Nonetheless, further extensions to working lives are needed to help sustain economic expansion and to provide support for growing elderly populations. Our study also demonstrates that the extent of the time gains from retirement age increases vary depending on how the age structures in each economy is expected to evolve over time. Accordingly, the timing and quantum of future retirement age increases should be suitably calibrated so as to sufficiently offset declines in the working-age population.

Keywords: Population aging; retirement age; demographic dividend (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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