The Age of Aging: How Demographics are Changing the Global Economy and Our World by George MagnusThe Age of Aging: How Demographics are Changing the Global Economy and Our World by George Magnus

The Age of Aging: How Demographics are Changing the Global Economy and Our World

byGeorge Magnus

Hardcover | October 13, 2008

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The year 2008 marks the beginning of the baby boomer retirement avalanche just as the different demographics in advanced and most developing countries are becoming more pronounced. People are worrying again that developments in global population trends, food supply, natural resource availability and climate change raise the question as to whether Malthus was right after all.

The Age of Aging explores a unique phenomenon for mankind and, therefore, one that takes us into uncharted territory. Low birth rates and rising life expectancy are leading to rapid aging and a stagnation or fall in the number of people of working age in Western societies. Japan is in pole position but will be joined soon by other Western countries, and some emerging markets including China. The book examines the economic effects of aging, the main proposals for addressing the implications, and how aging societies will affect family and social structures, and the type of environment in which the baby-boomers' children will grow up.

The contrast between the expected old age bulge in Western nations and the youth bulge in developing countries has important implications for globalization, and for immigration in Western countries - two topics already characterized by rising discontent or opposition. But we have to find ways of making both globalization and immigration work for all, for fear that failure may lead us down much darker paths. Aging also brings new challenges for the world to address in two sensitive areas, the politicization of religion and the management of international security. Governments and global institutions will have to take greater responsibilities to ensure that public policy responses are appropriate and measured.

The challenges arising within aging societies, and the demographic contrasts between Western and developing countries make for a fractious world - one that is line with the much-debated 'decline of the West'. The book doesn't flinch from recognizing the ways in which this could become more visible, but also asserts that we can address demographic change effectively if governments and strengthened international institutions are permitted a larger role in managing change.
George Magnus is the senior economic adviser at UBS Investment Bank and has held this position since 2005. Before this, he was the bank’s chief economist with effect from the merger between UBS and Swiss Bank Corporation in 1998, leading a team of professional economists to the highest accolades in the Institutional Investor and other ...
Title:The Age of Aging: How Demographics are Changing the Global Economy and Our WorldFormat:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9.3 × 6.3 × 1.4 inPublished:October 13, 2008Publisher:WileyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0470822910

ISBN - 13:9780470822913

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Table of Contents




Chapter 1: Introducing a new age.

Everyone is affected everywhere.

The demographic debate laid bare.

Differing prospects for richer and poorer nations.

Demographics and other global trends.


Chapter 2: Population issues from Jesus Christ to aging and climate change.

Population take-off, Malthus, and Marx.

Fertility debate gathers significance.

Falling fertility, family structures, and modern times.

Climate change, food, oil, and water join the fray.

Food and oil supplies.

Water shortages too?

What happened to the dominant species?


Chapter 3:The age of aging.

Global population changes.

Your world party guestlist.

Three stages of ages.

Aging and dependency.

What about the workers?

Dependency ratios for the old and the young are not comparable.

The demographic dividend for poorer countries.



Chapter 4: The economics of aging—what is tobe done?

How the rich world isaging.

Will labor shortage scrimp growth?

Is it possible to boost the supply of workers?

Raising participation and immigration.

Women to work.

Can we strengthen brain as well as brawn?

Working longer to retirement.

Youth trends sap economic strength.

How much immigration?

Productivity is the holy economic grail.

Will we be able to finance retirement?

Saving less with age, saving less anyway.

Changing pension schemes.

Retirement and savings in the United States.


Chapter 5: Coming of age: United States, Japan,and Europe.

Aging in advanced economies.

Accounting for growth in Japan, western Europe, and America.

Removing the sex and age barriers to work Barriers to female employment.

Barriers to older workers in employment.

Later retirement is more than just a matter of law.

A Singaporean model for all?

Who’s for change?


Chapter 6: Will aging damage your wealth?

Will there been enough in the personal savings pot?

Savings patterns and trends in Japan.

Savings in the United States.

Savings in Europe.

Less generous pensions.

More self-reliance for retirement savings.

Government spending and more public debt.

Age-related spending: pensions.

Age-related spending: healthcare.

Age-related spending in OECD countries.

America’s healthcare and public spending explosion.

Paying for aging.

Fiscal versus fallen angels.

Will aging societies inflate or deflate?

Will aging damage your wealth?

Less buoyant returns but new opportunities.

Safe as houses?

Prime-age house buyers in decline:who will buy?

Wealthy and healthy?


Chapter 7: Waiting in the wings: aging in emerging and developing nations.

Aging faster than rich countries.

Demographic dividend and dependency.

Asian strengths and weaknesses.

Gender discrimination.

China—Middle Kingdom, middle age.

One-child policy.

Running out of cheap labor.

Economic consequences.

Growing social policy agenda.

India and its human capital.

An Asian America?

Jobs and skills are what India needs.

Russia—a failing petrostate?

Demographic decay.

Fading fertility.

Mounting mortality.

Manpower, military, and immigration.

Africa and the Middle East, banking on the dividend.

Africa: a distorted dividend?

Reasons to be optimistic regardless?

Stronger institutions, too much HIV/AIDS.

Middle East and NorthAfrica—rage, religion, and reform.

Basic population characteristics.

Angry young men in an unstable region.

The need for reform.

Believing, not belonging.

Don’t hold your breath.


Chapter 8: Where globalization and demographics meet.

Globalization is the death of distance.

Solving the globalization problem via institutions.

The globalization “trilemma”.

Negative sentiment.

Globalization and well-being: the case of HIV/AIDS.

For richer, for poorer: marriage by globalization.



Chapter 9: Will immigration solve aging society problems?

Rising hostility toward immigration.

How many immigrants and where are they?

How sustainable is higher immigrant fertility?

Economic arguments are awkward or weak.

Short-run effects positive but may not last.

Unskilled or semiskilled immigration issues.

For some, a brain drain into retirement.

Financial aspects of immigration are balanced.

Competition for migrants may be rising.



Chapter 10: Demographic issues in religion and international security.

The secular-religious pendulum swings back.

The Pyrrhic victory of secular capitalism.

Will religion get us from here to maternity?

Religious belief in the ascendant?

Secular balance can be sustained.

International security.

Demographic change and new forms of conflict.

Manpower shortages.


Epilogue: The Boomerangst generation.

The kiss of debt and other sources of angst.

Insecurity, inequality, and changing family structures.



Postscript: Population forecasting.


Editorial Reviews

Financial Times- The red flags raised by a grey world By Chris Cook Published: December 22 2008 02:00 | Last updated: December 22 2008 02:00 “Demography is the senior social science: churchgoers this week will be reminded that Jesus Christ was born in the midst of a census two millennia ago. George Magnus's The Age of Aging  is an account of the great population transitions currently under way around the world. Magnus is a renowned City of London economist, now at UBS, and his new book is a guide for the general reader on how the greying of the world will change everything, everywhere. Demographic cycles are immensely powerful, and move just fast enough to cause occasional outbursts of panic. The western world intermittently gives in to fears about population extinction and Malthusian famine. The 1930s brought us titles such as The Twilight of Parenthood , while the 1960s gave us The Population Bomb . The new terror for the west is a large, aged population: the popular literature frets that future generations - usually Americans - are already doomed to penury because of the rising costs of medical bills and pension payments. Magnus's account avoids the hysteria that often affects this genre. He level-headedly discusses the west's ageing problem with an explanation of the developing world's demographic conundrums. For readers who are new to the topic, some of the chapters are useful primers on these crucial issues.”   The Economist Demographics Greying globe “There is no doubt that global greying will happen. Many of the people that will contribute to it have already been born, so short of some catastrophe that kills off large numbers of people, or some Viagra-fuelled leap in birth rates, population numbers and age composition can be predicted with fair accuracy for decades ahead. What remedies should be adopted it is much harder to say. The pundits who have pronounced on this over the past decade or so fall roughly into three categories: those who claim that this is just another Malthusian scare story and can be sorted out with a few tweaks to retirement ages and pension policies; those who preach gloom and doom (a meltdown in asset prices, poverty in old age, health-care rationing and even intergenerational warfare as the young and the old slug it out for scarce resources); and those in the middle, who crunch the numbers and try to come up with sensible ideas to make their effect less grim. This book falls firmly into the last category. It provides a clear, sober and well-written analysis of the problem, both in developed and developing countries, and runs through the options for heading off the worst effects. The biggest part of the solution lies in expanding the shrinking band of workers, mainly by getting people to retire later and persuading even more women to take up paid employment. At the same time more productivity will have to be squeezed out of the labour force that remains. And people will have to be persuaded to save a lot more for their old age.” -- From The Economist print  edition, Dec 30th 2008.