Arbetsrapport, Institutet för Framtidsstudier - Institute for Futures Studies
Four Phases in the demographic transition. Implications for economic and social development.
() and Lena Sommestad
Abstract: Traditionally, the demographic transition model has
focused primarily on long-term changes in mortality rates, fertility rates
and population growth rates. Of equal, or perhaps even greater, importance
is however the transformation of the age structure that the transition
engenders. In this paper we focus on this age transition and argue that (1)
The age transition is a more extended process than the mortality and
fertility transition. It starts simultaneously with the mortality decline
and continues almost one hundred years after a stabilization of the birth
rates. (2) During the age transition population growth will be concentrated
in turn to the youngest age groups, the young adult group, the middle age
group and the old age group. (3) During these different phases of the age
transition, the social and economic effects of population growth will be
different. Poverty, child labor and low savings rates characterize the
phase child abundance. The second phase, when young adults predominate, is
characterized by high rates of migration, urbanization and proletarization,
and by early industrialization and institutional transformation. In the
third phase, when the number of middle aged increase, the economy is
characterized by high savings rates and large increases in per capita
income. The old age phase, finally is characterized by an increasing
dependency burden, declining savings rates, inflationary pressures, an
expanding public sector, and stagnating economic growth.
argues that these patterns may be explained by the shifts in economic
behavior that take place during the life cycle. Recent studies of age
structure effects on macro-economic variables are referred. The argument is
illustrated with historical examples from Sweden, England, and Western
Europe, along with modern examples from Asia, Africa and Latin-America.
Keywords: Age; transition; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: J00; (follow links to similar papers)
27 pages, October 2000
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