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Economic Aspects of Population Aging in China and India

  • Jinkook Lee ,
  • David Weir ,
  • Mark E. McGovern ,
  • Ajay Mahal ,
  • David Bloom ,
  • Indrani Gupta ,
  • Ang Sun ,
  • Anjini Kochar ,
  • Kim Babiarz ,
  • Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert ,
  • Wang Feng

China and India are, by far, the two most populous countries in the world. As a result of declining fertility, increasing life expectancy, and the progression of large cohorts to the older ages, both of them, like all other countries, have aging populations. However, China’s total fertility rate began to fall much earlier and faster than India’s, and its life expectancy began to rise much earlier. As a result, China is aging rapidly, with the ratio of working-age to dependent population set to decline. In India, the ratio is still rising.

For a variety of reasons that encompass but also extend beyond demographic factors, both countries have experienced rapid economic growth, though China’s rate has been much higher than India’s. With the two populations aging at different rates, the relative economic growth paths of the two countries may also change.

This conference features research papers addressing the economic determinants or consequences of population aging in China or India. Some focus on China or India; some compare the two. A lunchtime panel will feature roundtable discussion of invited researchers.

The conference is sponsored by the Program on the Global Demography of Aging, the South Asia Initiative, the Asia Center, the Harvard-Yenching Institute, the Harvard China Fund, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs (all at Harvard University), and the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (at Stanford University).