Posts tagged 'Demographics'

Good news: Britain to become more over-crowded

A chart, courtesy of James Knightley at ING…

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India and the danger of potential

If India continues its current path it will face a catastrophic shortage of jobs, creating a young and angry population, and with it conditions for social unrest and economic disaster. Whether India exploits or is undermined by its demographics will likely be determined by the policy choices over the next two administrations. It simply cannot afford a repeat of the last five years.

That’s from a recent Espirito Santo note that makes for refreshing reading compared with the usual demographic dividend stories that cruise through our inboxes every few days. Read more

Apparently if you want more babies you just have to let people have them

End the ‘one-child policy’, get some 9.5m extra people. Nice policy if you want to give your population a bit more control and if you have one eye on a declining working age population.

According to a few news organisations in China late last week, citing those close to the National Population and Family Planning Commission, the government may relax its one-child policy in the very near future. Families where at least one parent was a single-child might be able to start upping their families headcounts in late 2013/ early 2014 with a full revision in 2015 (a date that has been mentioned before).

Nomura’s Zhiwie Zhang gave the reports quite a bit of weight (our emphasis): Read more

Females and the crisis

George Magnus, senior economic advisor at UBS has always been fond of demographics. In fact, he’s always warned the world about the dangerous side-effects of an ageing society, with specific reference to the case of Japan.

As he reminds us in a note on Wednesday: Read more

Pessimism and priorities in advanced economies

We’ve been combing through an interesting new Pew report on attitudes towards a number of economy-related issues.

Among the dominant themes are that people in advanced economies are more likely to report increasing inequality in the past five years, while respondents in emerging and developing economies had more faith in their prospects for economic mobility than their developed-country counterparts. Read more

Charts du jour, labour force participation kill the old edition

Self-explanatory, and they come via RBC Capital Markets:

Kill the old, sequestration edition

Quite a few analyses of the sequestration cuts have noted that they do little to address the sources of longer-term budget deficits, which are mainly the result of expected health care costs.

Matt Slaugher of Tuck Business School and Matthew Rees of Geonomica argue something similar but take a slightly different approach, emphasising which generations the cuts are punishing most: Read more

Will China’s demographic shift force a fall in investment share?

We’ve recently heard an interesting suggestion that China’s ageing population — generally a bad thing for growth — might also have the positive side-effect of inducing a transition away from the country’s unusually high ratio of investment to consumption. But will it?  Read more

Banks vs babies

Yep, China again.

Here’s a table from a fresh IMF paper pondering the country’s Lewis Turning Point, the moment when people streaming into cities from farms will be fully absorbed, industrial wages will take off, and — an estimated 350m jobs later after it began — the era of cheap Chinese labour will end. Click to enlarge. Read more

China’s two paths to urbanisation

China’s growing demographic challenges have been well documented and their economic impact much discussed. So how about urbanisation being touted as the solution?

After all, more people working in cities generally means more productive workers, hard to argue with that. But Beijing’s traditional policy of encouraging urbanisation through greater infrastructure investment is getting ever diminishing returns. If the government really wants more people to move to the cities, argues Wei Yao at Société Générale, it must start treating its new urbanites better. Read more

Don’t kill the old! Just get them to adopt you

We’ve been moaning about the old stealing our jobs for quite a while but we may have been missing an obvious trick. Much like their advanced toilet habits, Japan is leading the way demographically and has come up with an alternate to our more “soylent green” approach to the problem. Read more

Kill the old, jobs edition

If increased proportions of older workers are squeezing out some of the younger would-be workers there could be a significant downside in the longer term — ironically, due to the ageing population.  Read more

The old are stealing our jobs!

From Steven Englander at Citi — a little observed factoid regarding employment trends among the older demographic:

We are taking one small slice at this subject, starting with the little noticed fact that employment to population ratios among older individuals have gone up in recent years, in contrast to the so-called prime-aged 25-54 cohort, where employment to population is much lower than earlier. Figure 1 shows the percentage point change in the employment to population for the three age groups since 2007. Read more

Labour productivity vs demographics

To what extent has Japan’s soft growth over the past 20 years been due to its population ageing? And to what extent unfavourable demographics can be offset by increases in labour market participation (especially by old people) and/or labour productivity gains?

Citi’s Nathan Sheets and Robert Sockin have put together a very useful comparison of (mostly supply-side) measures for the US, Japan and eurozone that examine these questions. They’ve “decomposed” real GDP-per capita down into labour productivity, employment rate, labour force participation, and the share of the working-age population. Read more

What price a slowing population?

Making babies is fun and good for economic growth (sexing up a lede has never been so easy). Nomura has taken a shot at calculating just how significantly population changes can hit GDP. Their conclusion is that:

[A]lthough a population decline will dent GDP growth and inflation, the degree of correlation is not that high and the negative impact may not be as large as some observers fear. Read more

We pause for some big-picture good news

This chart from Credit Suisse is included in a note about the graying of America and the developed world’s demographic problems and future runaway deficits and frightening old-age dependency ratios and blah blah bliggity blah

These are difficult issues and we’ll continue to write about the financial and economic implications of same, but this blogger returned from holiday about five minutes ago and feels like looking on the bright side of things for just one post. So instead we’re going to think about this in the happier and more obviously humane context of living standards rising and people living longer: Read more

Immigration economics and “dirty jobs”, plus a Q&A with Giovanni Peri

We’ve seen a lot interesting and deservedly favourable commentary about Alex Tabarrok’s argument that liberalising high-skill immigration policy in the US would be an economic boon.

Hey, we’re all for it and it’s more politically feasible than wider substantive reform on illegal immigration, in part because its entrepreneurial and societal benefits are intuitively easy to grasp. Read more

New minorities are the new majority

Fascinating data point via the Brookings Institution:

The new Census results show 49.8 percent of infants under age one are members of a race-ethnic minority – up from 42.4 percent in 2000. Given this trajectory, and the fact that the Census was taken well over a year ago, it is almost certain we have now “tipped” racially, and more than half of all national births are minorities. More than a quarter of infants are Hispanic, Blacks and Asians comprise 13.6 and 4.2 percent, respectively. Nearly one in twenty births were reported to be two or more races. Read more

Labour force and consumer spending edition

A decent review of a theme we’ve been exploring recently, courtesy of Moody’s Analytics:

Several important demographic trends will influence US activity for some time. They include (i) the slower growth of Americans aged 15 to 49 years, which is a population cohort that shows a comparatively strong correlation with the growth of real consumer spending, (ii) the record slow growth of the working age population, (iii) the much faster growth of older workers relative to younger workers, and (iv) the breakneck growth of those 65-and-over vis-à-vis the number aged less-than-65. Read more

Debt ratings, by demographics

I propose a different [ratings] modeling approach for advanced economies that focuses on their primary risk factor: the impact of population aging on social insurance spending. The approach leverages the wealth of budget, economic and demographic data and forecasts available for these countries. While the remainder of the discussion focuses on the US, it should be equally applicable to major European economies …

So writes Marc Joffe, a former senior director at Moody’s Analytics now turned consultant. Read more

Was demographics destiny after all?

Interesting USDA chart, pointed out by Big Picture Agriculture:

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US housing edition

This morning’s miserable new home sales report gives us an excuse to write about a theme we’ve been distantly following for some time: the possibility that the housing downturn has overshot the pre-crisis boom and will eventually provide an economic boost when it corrects.

Whether this turns out to be the case depends on whether demographics can trump the recent adjustments in household behaviour, as a recent paper from RBC explains: Read more

Don’t kill the old!

The rankings of the new Global Aging Preparedness index from the Center for Strategic and International Studies — or, handicapping the Race to Sovereign Default 2040:

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China’s yuan-child policy, relaxed

Relax, kids: a demographic tidbit from Citi’s emerging market round-up on Monday:

China will relax the one-child policy in five provinces this year and probably switch to the two-child policy within five years. According to the Chinese Liaowan Weekly, under the new policy, all couples with a one-child family can have two children. Read more

Peak Testosterone

An interesting application of political science to the market, from Deutsche Bank analysts:

Youth bulges in emerging markets likely to decline sharply from 2010–2020 Read more

Japanese mortgages: rarer and riskier

By now you’ve perhaps heard about the ticking, aging timebomb underneath Japanese government bonds. Or predictions of a negative savings rate. Or sovereign downgrades.

But what of the super safe Japanese mortgage market? Read more

Richard Koo goes unconventional on China

Nomura’s Richard Koo — he of ‘balance sheet recession’ fame — has been inspired.

He’s spent a week with Chi Hung Kwan, of the Nomura Institute of Capital Markets Research and an all-around China expert, and come back with the discovery that the “conventional wisdom on [the] Chinese economy has begun to collapse.” Read more

Japan’s savings rate about to go negative, Goldman says

Japan has just announced that its national savings rate rose to 5 per cent in 2009, from 2.2 per cent in 2008. But already some analysts are predicting a sharp reversal in the trend. Goldman Sachs’ Chiwoong Lee thinks the rate is about to turn negative.

From a Monday note: Read more

Clutching at the Chinese… baby-boomers

They are the ultimate consensus trade inside the ultimate consensus trade.

They are consumers in China. Read more

Kill the old, AAA-rated edition

Imagine a financial system without a single AAA-rated sovereign:

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