The Age of Aging explores a unique phenomenon for mankind and, therefore, one that takes us into uncharted territory. Low birth rates and rising life expectancy are leading to rapid aging and a stagnation or fall in the number of people of working age in Western societies. Japan is in pole position but will be joined soon by other Western countries, and some emerging markets including China. The book examines the economic effects of aging, the main proposals for addressing the implications, and how aging societies will affect family and social structures, and the type of environment in which the baby-boomers' children will grow up.
The contrast between the expected old age bulge in Western nations and the youth bulge in developing countries has important implications for globalization, and for immigration in Western countries - two topics already characterized by rising discontent or opposition. But we have to find ways of making both globalization and immigration work for all, for fear that failure may lead us down much darker paths. Aging also brings new challenges for the world to address in two sensitive areas, the politicization of religion and the management of international security. Governments and global institutions will have to take greater responsibilities to ensure that public policy responses are appropriate and measured.
The challenges arising within aging societies, and the demographic contrasts between Western and developing countries make for a fractious world - one that is line with the much-debated 'decline of the West'. The book doesn't flinch from recognizing the ways in which this could become more visible, but also asserts that we can address demographic change effectively if governments and strengthened international institutions are permitted a larger role in managing change.
Chapter 1: Introducing a new age.
Everyone is affected everywhere.
The demographic debate laid bare.
Differing prospects for richer and poorer nations.
Demographics and other global trends.
Chapter 2: Population issues from Jesus Christ to aging and climate change.
Population take-off, Malthus, and Marx.
Fertility debate gathers significance.
Falling fertility, family structures, and modern times.
Climate change, food, oil, and water join the fray.
Food and oil supplies.
Water shortages too?
What happened to the dominant species?
Chapter 3:The age of aging.
Global population changes.
Your world party guestlist.
Three stages of ages.
Aging and dependency.
What about the workers?
Dependency ratios for the old and the young are not comparable.
The demographic dividend for poorer countries.
Chapter 4: The economics of aging - what is tobe done?
How the rich world isaging.
Will labor shortage scrimp growth?
Is it possible to boost the supply of workers?
Raising participation and immigration.
Women to work.
Can we strengthen brain as well as brawn?
Working longer to retirement.
Youth trends sap economic strength.
How much immigration?
Productivity is the holy economic grail.
Will we be able to finance retirement?
Saving less with age, saving less anyway.
Changing pension schemes.
Retirement and savings in the United States.
Chapter 5: Coming of age: United States, Japan,and Europe.
Aging in advanced economies.
Accounting for growth in Japan, western Europe, and America.
Removing the sex and age barriers to work Barriers to female employment.
Barriers to older workers in employment.
Later retirement is more than just a matter of law.
A Singaporean model for all?
Who’s for change?
Chapter 6: Will aging damage your wealth?
Will there been enough in the personal savings pot?
Savings patterns and trends in Japan.
Savings in the United States.
Savings in Europe.
Less generous pensions.
More self-reliance for retirement savings.
Government spending and more public debt.
Age-related spending: pensions.
Age-related spending: healthcare.
Age-related spending in OECD countries.
America’s healthcare and public spending explosion.
Paying for aging.
Fiscal versus fallen angels.
Will aging societies inflate or deflate?
Will aging damage your wealth?
Less buoyant returns but new opportunities.
Safe as houses?
Prime-age house buyers in decline:who will buy?
Wealthy and healthy?
Chapter 7: Waiting in the wings: aging in emerging and developing nations.
Aging faster than rich countries.
Demographic dividend and dependency.
Asian strengths and weaknesses.
China - Middle Kingdom, middle age.
Running out of cheap labor.
Growing social policy agenda.
India and its human capital.
An Asian America?
Jobs and skills are what India needs.
Russia - a failing petrostate?
Manpower, military, and immigration.
Africa and the Middle East, banking on the dividend.
Africa: a distorted dividend?
Reasons to be optimistic regardless?
Stronger institutions, too much HIV/AIDS.
Middle East and NorthAfrica - rage, religion, and reform.
Basic population characteristics.
Angry young men in an unstable region.
The need for reform.
Believing, not belonging.
Don’t hold your breath.
Chapter 8: Where globalization and demographics meet.
Globalization is the death of distance.
Solving the globalization problem via institutions.
The globalization “trilemma”.
Globalization and well-being: the case of HIV/AIDS.
For richer, for poorer: marriage by globalization.
Chapter 9: Will immigration solve aging society problems?
Rising hostility toward immigration.
How many immigrants and where are they?
How sustainable is higher immigrant fertility?
Economic arguments are awkward or weak.
Short-run effects positive but may not last.
Unskilled or semiskilled immigration issues.
For some, a brain drain into retirement.
Financial aspects of immigration are balanced.
Competition for migrants may be rising.
Chapter 10: Demographic issues in religion and international security.
The secular-religious pendulum swings back.
The Pyrrhic victory of secular capitalism.
Will religion get us from here to maternity?
Religious belief in the ascendant?
Secular balance can be sustained.
Demographic change and new forms of conflict.
Epilogue: The Boomerangst generation.
The kiss of debt and other sources of angst.
Insecurity, inequality, and changing family structures.
Postscript: Population forecasting.