Population age structure and savings rate impacts on economic growth: evidence from Australia

Uddin, Gazi A. and Alam, Khorshed and Gow, Jeff (2016) Population age structure and savings rate impacts on economic growth: evidence from Australia. Economic Analysis and Policy, 52. pp. 23-33. ISSN 0313-5926


This paper examines the relationship between the dependency ratio, savings rate and real GDP for Australia for the period 1971–2014. Three econometric techniques – dynamic ordinary least squares, fully modified ordinary least squares and the vector error correction model – are applied to estimate this relationship. The interaction between the variables in the post-sample period is also forecast using impulse response functions (IRFs) and variance decomposition (VDC) analysis. Each of the three models confirms, to varying degrees, the long-run relationship between the dependency ratio, savings rate and real gross domestic product (GDP); however, Granger causality tests do not show any significant short-term relationship among the variables, other than a one-way causality running from the dependency ratio to GDP per capita. The IRFs show the negative response of dependency ratio on GDP per capita, and that this response dies out gradually. In addition, the VDCs forecast the impact of this shock in the dependency ratio on GDP per capita as accounting for, on average, 9% of the total variance in the initial four years and 23% over the next 11 years. The overall result implies that changes in population age structure had a significant impact on real GDP per capita in Australia. However, this advantage of the age structure may disappear in the near future due to the projected rapid increase in the dependency ratio as a result of aging of the population. This outcome may lead to a slowdown in the GDP growth. Australia needs demographic and immigration policies that involves increasing the skilled working age population to counterbalance the problems associated with an ageing population.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Commerce
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2016 01:59
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2017 05:55
Uncontrolled Keywords: cointegration, dependency ratio, gross domestic product, impulse response functions, savings rate, structural breaks, unit roots, variance decomposition
Fields of Research : 14 Economics > 1403 Econometrics > 140305 Time-Series Analysis
Socio-Economic Objective: B Economic Development > 91 Economic Framework > 9101 Macroeconomics > 910103 Economic Growth
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.eap.2016.08.002
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/29621

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