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Project Title:

Long-Run Macro-Economic Effects of the Aging U.S. Population
PIN: DEPS-BMSA-10-01        

Major Unit:

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
Institute of Medicine

Sub Unit: Center for Economic, Governance, and International Studies
Board on Health Care Services
Board on Mathematical Sciences & Their Applications DEPS

RSO: Weidman, Scott

Subject/Focus Area: Business; Economics

Project Scope
The study will set out a framework for evaluating the long-run macro-economic implications of population aging. In particular it will:

1. Examine the main sources of existing long-run U.S. demographic projections with particular focus on increasing life-expectancy, rising numbers of oldest old, trends in fertility and net immigration, and changing dependency ratios.

2. Identify the degree of uncertainty associated with existing demographic forecasts and how they complicate predictions of economic behavior and macroeconomic performance.

3. Quantify in detail the influence of the “baby boom” generation on the path and likely end point of long-run trends in dependency ratios.

4. Investigate trends in retirement ages and the prospects for people working longer.

5. Evaluate the implications of projected demographic changes on American living standards, focusing on factors affecting income security in old age such as aggregate demand, savings, and investment, how they interact, and the aggregate burden on society across all public and private channels through which transfers flow.

6. Investigate the capabilities for government to maintain current levels of publicly funded support for the elderly.

7. Investigate trends in private pension provisions and how those trends might be related to the transition to an older society.

8. Investigate what levels of personal savings would be necessary in order for people to sustain their living standards in retirement for various assumptions about retirement ages, health care cost growth, public support for the elderly, and the effects of increased national savings on investment returns. Summarize the evidence regarding savings adequacy for different age cohorts. Investigate the impediments to people saving adequate amounts.

9. Develop research recommendations that address knowledge gaps and anticipated data needs identified during Committee deliberations and which reflect an understanding of international differences

The project is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Treasury

The approximate start date for the project is 9/24/10.

A report will be issued at the end of the project in approximately 15 months

Project Duration: 24 months    

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Committee Membership
Committee Membership

 Meeting 1 - 12/17/2010
 Meeting 2 - 03/25/2011
 Meeting 3 - 06/17/2011
 Meeting 4 - 09/23/2011
 Meeting 5 - 12/16/2011
 Meeting 6 - 02/24/2012


Reports having no URL can be seen
at the Public Access Records Office
Aging and the Macroeconomy: Long-Term Implications of an Older Population