Cai Fang on Promoting Growth With an Ageing and Declining Population
"Failure to share the cake properly at this point will probably widen [China’s] income gap and dampen economic growth from the demand side"
China’s population is ageing, declining and, according to a recent estimate from the UN, may just have been surpassed by India’s. Beijing recently reacted to this shift by stating pointedly that “population dividends don’t only depend on quantity but also on quality”. Chinese experts addressing this issue tend to remain relatively non-alarmist in their assessments too. Ipsos Public Affairs CEO Darrell Bricker’s observation that, “Population change isn’t necessarily a good thing or a bad thing. But it is a big thing.” seems to be their adopted mantra.
Today’s post focuses on a speech made by one of China’s top economists, Cai Fang (蔡昉), at an event organised by China Finance 40 Forum and the Sun Yefang Foundation on 30 March, coinciding with the launch of Cai’s new book, “The Age of Negative Population Growth: Challenges and Opportunities for China's Economic Growth” (人口负增长时代：中国经济增长的挑战与机遇). Below is a summary of his policy recommendations, some of which will be familiar to…
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