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Genus. 2005 Jul-Dec; 61(3-4):185-192.I was asked by the organizers of this international conference to discuss, in my presentation, the effects of ageing on competitiveness. I will start by arguing that the key economic issue involved by ageing is growth rather than competitiveness per se, as ageing may reduce the growth potential of nations. I will however point out that there is nothing unavoidable about this effect of ageing on growth. Reforming pensions and labour market institutions in order to better exploit returns from experience, it is possible to counteract the effects of a declining workforce on growth and sustain a relatively high rate of capital accumulation even under older societies. But there are strong political obstacles to these reforms. These political obstacles should be fully understood, it is still a matter of positive economics, and possibly counteracted (the domain of normative economics). (excerpt)
New York, New York, United Nations, 1991. x, 58 p. (ST/ESA/SER.R/113)With approximately 12% of its 1980 population over age 60, Argentina's elderly constitute a higher-than-average proportion of the total population when compared to other developing countries. Governments are increasingly assuming greater responsibility for the care and support of the elderly. Accordingly, this paper describes the social and economic aspects of population ageing in Argentina, with the aim of providing planners with a better understanding of the social and economic implications of these demographic changes. Better understanding should result in the development of appropriate plans and policies targeted to the elderly. While the ageing process in Argentina is comparatively advanced when compared to other developing countries, ageing presently proceeds at a slower pace when compared to past trends. Slow ageing is also projected into the future. The elderly, themselves, have been ageing, and tend to live to a greater extent in urban areas. Elderly women when compared to men are more likely to live alone and in urban settings. Despite a stagnating economy, social gains and improvements in living conditions for the elderly have been largely sustained. The working-age population grew more slowly, however, over recent decades than the total population. The number of retirement system beneficiaries also grew over the period, with retirement benefits reported as the leading sources of income among the elderly. The health care system remains strained by the country's present economic situation, with care failing to reach all of the elderly. Wide societal agreement exists that the family should be a major care provider. With more than 1/2 of all persons aged 65 and over living in extended or mixed households, the family plans an important care and support function.