Abstract WP09-06

Lee, Ronald. 2009. Population aging, intergenerational transfers, and economic growth: Latin America in a global context. Paper prepared for the Expert Group Meeting on Population Ageing, Intergenerational Transfers and Social Protection, CELADE/ECLAC/DESA, Santiago, Chile, October 20-21, 2009.

Summary: The demographic transition has brought sweeping changes to population age distributions in almost all Third World nations, and all industrialized countries, with more profound changes to come in the next few decades. In some respects these changes are welcomed for the slower population growth and reduced child dependency ratios that they bring. In other respects they are feared for the anticipated shrinking of the labor force and the rapid increases in the old age dependency ratios, which will make current public pension programs unsustainable and perhaps health care systems as well. Because the generations are closely linked through family relationships and public programs, their changing relative numbers have many profound effects. Here I will focus on some economic consequences of the demographic transition in Latin America, and more specifically in the five Latin American countries that are part of the National Transfer Accounts (NTA) project. The NTA project views the set of public and private intergenerational transfers in a comprehensive and coherent way. I will look at how the patterns of intergenerational transfers interact with the demographic changes over the demographic transition with special attention to the phase of population aging.

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