Concept Note

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The question of whether demographic change affects economic development and social policy, or whether such changes are a result of development and policy has attracted serious discussion for several decades. This reflects the Malthusian and Marxian debate on the nexus of demographic change and socio-economic policy (Sinding 2009). Several academic works have looked at this subject from ancient times (e.g. Briggs et al. 2014; Durand 1977; Scheidel 2001) to current industrialised times (Andersen & Molander 2003; Lloyd-Sherlock 2002; Sinding 2009). In the modern industrialised world, particularly following the Second World War, Neo- Malthusian thought—which assumes that high population growth reduces economic growth—has widely been adopted in hopes of achieving high economic growth (Sinding 2009). This situation improved governments' capacity to provide social protection for workers in the labour market. This argument corresponds with classical and contemporary literature on social policy written by such influential authors as Wilensky (1975) and Gough (2004), both of whom believe that the demographic structure significantly affects social security programmes and welfare regime development.


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