Demographics and Innovation in the Asia-Pacific

May 15, 2021
Book cover showing a robotic hand holding an older human hand.

Demographic transition, along with the economic and geopolitical re-emergence of Asia, are two of the largest forces shaping the twenty-first century, but little is known about the implications for innovation. The countries of East Asia have some of the oldest age structures on the planet: between now and 2050, the population that is age 65 and older will increase to more than one in four Chinese, and to more than one in three Japanese and Koreans. Other economies with younger populations, like India, face the challenge of fully harnessing the “demographic dividend” from large cohorts in the working ages.

This book delves into how such demographic changes shape the supply of innovation and the demand for specific kinds of innovation in the Asia-Pacific. Social scientists from Asia and the United States offer multidisciplinary perspectives from economics, demography, political science, sociology, and public policy; topics range from the macroeconomic effects of population age structure, to the microeconomics of technology and the labor force, to the broader implications for human well-being. Contributors analyze how demography shapes productivity and the labor supply of older workers, as well as explore the aging population as consumers of technologies and drivers of innovations to meet their own needs, as well as the political economy of spatial development, agglomeration economies, urban-rural contrasts, and differential geographies of aging.

Table of contents and chapter 1, introduction