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China: long-term development issues and options. The report of a mission sent to China by the World Bank.
Baltimore, Maryland, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985. xiii, 183 p. (World Bank Country Economic Report)This report summarizes the conclusions of a World Bank study undertaken in 1984 to identify the key development issues China is expected to face in the next 20 years. Among the areas addressed by chapters in this monograph are agricultural prospects, energy development, spatial issues, international economic strategy, managing industrial technology, human development, mobilizing financial resources, and development management. China's economic prospects are viewed as dependinding upon success in mobilizing and effectively using all available resources, especially people. This in turn will depend on sucess in reforming the system of economic management, including progress in 3 areas: 1) greater use of market regulation to stimulate innovation and efficiency; 2) stronger planning, combining indirect with direct economic control; and 3) modification and extension of social institutions and policies to maintain the fairness in distribution that is basic to socialism in the face of the greater inequality and instability that may result from market regulation and indirect controls. Over the next 2 decades, China can be expected to become a middle-income country. The government has set the goal of quadrupling the gross value of industrial and agricultural output between 1980 and 2000 and increasing per capita income from US$300 to $800. China's size and past emphasis on local self-sufficiency offer opportunities for enormous economic gains through increased specialization and trade among localities. Increased rural-urban migration seems probable and desirable, although an increase in urban services and infrastructure will be required. The expected slow rate of population increase is an important foundation for China's favorable economic growth prospects. On the other hand, it may not be desirable to hold fertility below the replacement level for very long, given the effects this would have on the population's age structure. The increase in the proportion of elderly people will be a serious social issue in the next century, and reforms of the social security system need to be considered.
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.