This study investigates the impact of demographic structural changes on economic growth using data for Asian economies covering the period 1960–2020. Other factors affecting economic growth, such as human capital, are also considered.
A fixed-effects model and a fixed-effects model with endogenous covariates are used to examine a dynamic demographic model covering different age cohorts (i.e. youth-age, working-age and old-age populations) and other factors impacting economic growth.
The working-age population share, the labour force relative to the working-age population and growth of the actively employed population have significant and positive impacts on economic growth. Population growth and the youth-age population share exert a significant and negative impact on economic growth. A second and silver demographic dividend is found arising from a significant and positive association between the old-age population and economic growth. Human capital has an inverted U-shaped association with economic growth. Environmental degradation is significantly and negatively related to economic growth. No evidence is found for the importance of migration.
The positive association between the old-age population and economic growth indicates the policy significance of retirement-income systems with high coverage to enhance economic growth in Asia. Lifelong learning and preventative health measures can also be supportive policies to strengthen the third (silver) demographic dividend via the extension of retirement for productive and healthy elders.
This study is the first to examine the impacts of demographic structure, human capital, migration and environmental degradation on economic growth in Asia, using the most up-to-date longitudinal data from 1960 to 2020. Unlike previous empirical studies, this study discovers empirically based evidence to support Asia's second and silver demographic dividends.
Funding: This study received funding from The Program Management Unit for Human Resources & Institutional Development, Research and Innovation - CU (Award Number B16F630071).
Amornkitvikai, Y., Harvie, C. and Karcharnubarn, R. (2022), "The impact of demographic structure, human capital, migration and environmental degradation on economic growth in Asia", Journal of Economic Studies, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JES-09-2021-0487
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