Title Exploring some long range aspects of demographic change
 Collaborators Hadi Dowlatabadi
 Keywords demographic change, population, social impacts, intergenerational decision making
 Abstract

When considering global change phenomena few issues evoke more vim and vigor than the concern about population growth. In developing long-term projections of global change we need credible models of demographic dynamics, and coherent consideration of the implications of significant demographic change.

In this research I am trying to understand the implications of lower population growth (always considered a desirable outcome) for demographic composition and the challenges which need to be faced in preparing for such a future. In a world where population is level at 10 billion, the ratio of individuals over age 65 to all other age groups will have changed from the current 5% to over 20%. Consider the following questions:

(i) What will this mean for the retirement age?
(ii) What will this mean for education and job and skill training?
(iii) What will this do to job mobility, prospects for progress and individual motivation to over-achieve?
(iv) What about savings and consumption decisions?
(v) What about how values are shaped?
(vi) What about attitudes towards future generations and intergenerational decision-making?

Coherent consideration of these and many related issues points to inconsistencies in how we think about economic development, risk transitions, social dynamics, and inter-generational decision-making. These issues will in turn lead to significant implications for sensibility and stability of decisions made today about long-term problems such as climate change.