The Corner

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Re: Productivity


I don’t want to get into an immigration/Social Security discussion just now, but Wattenberg’s fellow AEI-nik, Nick Eberstadt, addressed the issue of aging population and productivity at some length in the previous issue of Policy Review. He was talking about it in the context of Japan vs. China, saying that the aging of the population caused by lower birthrates is something Japan, with its high-productivity economy, will be able to adjust to (with certain aches and pains along the way), but that China is headed for some deep trouble. As he put it: “To put the matter bluntly, Japan became rich before it became old; China will do things the other way around.”