En Rofman, Rafael; Amarante, Verónica; Apella, Ignacio. 2016. Demographic Change in Uruguay : Economic Opportunities and Challenges, pgs. 249-277. Directions in Development–Human Development;. Washington, DC: World Bank. © World Bank.
Demographic transition is a structural phenomenon, yet it indisputably impacts economic actors and a broad range of government-funded public policies. Economic theory has contributed abundant and solid arguments on the multiple ways that changes in population and the availability of human capital influence growth, and as a result the study of the influence of demographic factors takes on special meaning when we analyze the long-term trends of modern economies such as Uruguay.
The aging of Uruguay’s population has significant influence on the behavior of households as consumers, and on the availability of the internal savings needed to finance the accumulation of capital. Demographic trends not only influence aggregate consumption behavior, but also they are felt when determining how public and private money is spent.
This chapter seeks to quantify the potential macroeconomic impacts of the demographic transition, analyzing the principal implications of population aging, and identifying its effect on the long-term dynamics of the Uruguayan economy. It briefly introduces the literature on the macroeconomic effects of demographic change, then highlights the importance that demographic topics have on the behavior of the Uruguayan economy. The fourth section analyzes how demographic change transforms economic growth: based on the analysis of simulation exercises, we draw conclusions about the implications of population aging for the long-term growth of the economy. The fifth section considers the tensions that population aging generates on consumption and explains the economic significance of the intergenerational transfers that this process could provoke. The sixth section considers the effects of the demographic transition on public finances, while the final section presents some reflections that conclude our analysis