Blog author: kschmiesing
Thursday, January 15, 2009

It’s usually good to steer clear of apocalyptic predictions of any sort, but as temperatures struggle to break the 10 degrees fahrenheit mark under full sun here in the Great Lakes region, talk of a “demographic winter” feels more compelling than warnings of global warming.

More seriously, the release of a new film by that name is the occasion for Jenny Roback Morse’s reflection on the economics of population. I don’t pretend to be an expert in the field and I am skeptical of any argument simplistically connecting population growth (or decline) with economic growth (or decline). But I am convinced that something as fundamental as demography must play a significant role in economic trends, and it does seem that, in general, economists and policymakers alike have neglected or at least failed to appreciate the importance of the issue. (For a counterexample, see Oskari Juurikkala’s analysis of pending pension crises: Pensions, Population, and Prosperity.)

It is hard to see how strong economic growth can be sustained in the face of a declining population: it’s just asking too much of technological advance and productivity gains.

  • Tracy

    Yes I do agree that this subject should be taken seriously. As I think about the reasons why 70 countries are estimated to be underpopulated is future parents today don’t have world value in believing in a God that is personl that He provides promises in the future. If young adults don’t believe that there is no future then their world view focuses on the themselves and not future generation.s The generation that is capable of having Children in many countries don’t see that having kids are valuable and especially in many Countries that don’t see Religion or God as important.

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