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Scotland's Demographic Dilemma

Wright, R.E. and Lisenkova, K. (2009) Scotland's Demographic Dilemma. Discussion paper. Essays on Demography Ageing, Hume Occasional Paper, Edinburgh.

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Abstract

Lisenkova and Wright supplement Ermisch's paper with data focusing particularly on Scotland. The data suggest that population decline is further advanced here than south of the border. Their discussion of policy implications notes that while not all effects of population decline are negative, the negative impacts of a declining labour force have clear negative macroeconomic consequences: reducing competitiveness and output while increasing inflation. They suggest increased net migration, increasing women's labour market participation, and increasing productivity as policy responses that could mitigate population ageing and its effects. The paper ends by sketching out the dilemma posed by demographic decline: as populations age costs increase yet the ability of an economy to meet those costs is likely to decline as well.