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    Demographic-economic model building for Japan.

    Ogawa N; Sadahiro A; Kondo M; Ezaki M

    In: United Nations. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific [ESCAP]. Modelling economic and demographic development. New York, United Nations, 1983. 117-223. (Asian Population Studies Series No. 54)

    This study uses a longterm demographic-economic model to analyze the effects of the rapid aging of the Japanese population on various aspects of the economy and government programs. It is assumed that the quantitative analysis of the interrelationships between age-structural changes and the socioeconomic system provides a useful basis for Japanese government planners to formulate policy measures to cope with problems arising in connection with an aging population. The study draws on population, economic, and social security submodels in a series of simulation experiments. In the Standard Case, the total fertility rate falls due to economic progress and the rising age at 1st marriage, mortality improves as a result of increased per capita medical expenditures, and population grows at a diminishing rate after peaking at 131.3 million in 2007. The model further projects an increase in the percentage of the population age 65 years and over from 9.1% in 1980 to 23.9% in 2021 and a corresponding decrease in the population ages 15-64 years from 67.4% to 61.8%, Per capita real GNP is projected to continue to rise in the 1980-2025 period. However, the decreasing growth rate of the labor force, increasing financial resources for social security programs, and decline in the average hours worked by those in the labor force are expected to produce an economic slow-down, particularly in the early part of the 21st century. 5 policy measures are proposed to cope with this lowered rate of economic growth: 1) acceleration of the speed of technological progress to compensate for the shortage of young workers; 2) extension of retirement age to ease financial pressures on public pension schemes and retain the economic contributions of aged workers; 3) updating of the skills of aged workers through government vocational retraining programs; 4) the modification of public pension schemes to make benefit provision more selective, and adjustment of the amount of benefits paid out by extending the pensionable age for each scheme; and 5) review of the effectiveness and efficiency of various public medical plans, with attention to unnecessary use of medical services and improvement of preventive interventions.
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