The European Union’s Twin Challenges – Demography and Economic Competitiveness |

The European Union's Twin Challenges – Demography and Economic Competitiveness


Two trends dominate demographic changes in Europe, Japan and other advanced economies: increased longevity and a persistently low total fertility rate. Both contribute to population aging, although from opposite ends of the age distribution.
As a result these economies have to address the challenge of an aging and eventually shrinking domestic labour force.
This coincides with a global context in which European economies have to compete not only with the US and Japan, but increasingly with emerging markets such as China, India, Brazil and Indonesia.
From a European perspective a few responses are currently under discussion. These include a pro-active immigration policy targeting qualified labour and skills, a higher retirement age, higher female labour force participation as well as increased output through higher productivity. Unfortunately these responses are not very popular with the European electorates. Therefore they are only half heartedly supported by governments. It may then be difficult for populations and work forces with a much larger proportion of elderly to become more flexible and competitive.

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Rainer Münz, Head of Research & Development, Erste Group, Senior Fellow, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI)

Monday, 18 April 2011
5.15 p.m. - 6.30 p.m.

Seminar Room 3-1
Level 3, Manasseh Meyer
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
469C Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 259772

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