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Uncertain Demographics and Fiscal Sustainability by Juha M. Alho

Uncertain Demographics and Fiscal Sustainability


Uncertain Demographics and Fiscal Sustainability by Juha M. Alho

There is widespread acceptance that much of the developed world faces a potential pensions and welfare crisis as a result of declining birth rates and an ageing population. However, there is considerable uncertainty about the specifics of demographic forecasting and this has significant implications for public finances. Uncertain Demographics and Fiscal Sustainability addresses the economic consequences of uncertainty and, with particular reference to European economies, explores the impact of demographic risks on public finances, including pension systems, health care and old-age care expenditures. Covering a spectrum of theoretical and empirical approaches, different types of computational models are used to demonstrate not only the magnitudes of the uncertainties involved but also how these can be addressed through policy initiatives. The book is divided into four parts covering demographic, measurement, policy and methodological issues. Each part is followed by a discussion essay that draws out key elements and identifies common themes.


'In this volume economists for the first time come to grips with the substantial impact of demographic uncertainty on the economy and public finances. It contains not only important methodological contributions but also provides fresh insights on how demographic risks can best be shared across generations.'
Lans Bovenberg, Director, Netspar, Tilburg University

'Due to population aging, public pensions and health-care systems are under pressure throughout the industrial world and beyond. But this pressure is mostly seen in long-term projections of unsustainability. It is difficult for governments to sell painful reforms such as privatization and delayed retirement in the face of uncertain futures. This timely and important book, edited by a world leader in the field, provides an explicit state-of-the-art evaluation of uncertainty in budget projections.'
Ronald Lee, Edward G. and Nancy S. Jordan Endowed Chair in Economics and Professor of Demography and Economics, University of California, Berkeley

About the Author

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Book Info

Publication date

19th July 2012


Juha M. Alho

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Cambridge University Press


300 pages


Population & demography



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