ECON5822 Special Topic in Economics I - Economic Policies in Aging Societies

The magnitude of demographic changes, including falling birth rates and rising life expectancy, has been substantial in many societies. Total fertility rate in Singapore fell from 3.07 in 1970 to a strikingly low value of 1.10 half a century later in 2020. According to the data in 2021, the average lifespan for women in Hong Kong reached a high level at 87.9 years, and the corresponding figure for men in Hong Kong was 83.2. Why do population changes of such magnitude arise, and how do they affect individual behavior of households and firms, as well as the aggregate economy?What are the appropriate (economic) policy responses to these mortality and fertility changes? This course examines these demographic changes, their causes and consequences, and related policy issues. We first look at mortality and fertility trends in aging societies. We then study economic consequences of demographic changes and the associated policies, including the demographic dividend, saving and retirement decisions, and human capital accumulation. We also briefly examine economic causes of population changes, and the associated polices.


1st Term
2nd Term
ECON5822 (M.Sc.) Teacher: Prof. LAU Sau Him, Paul [Course Outline]