Thomas J. Espenshade Rachel Eisenberg Braun The Urban Institute
Demographic aging can be viewed from two perspectives. At the level of the individual, aging in a chronological sense begins at the moment of birth and continues without interruption until the individual dies. We can also think of a collection of individuals as composing a population, and we can speak of the population as a whole growing older. Both types of aging are associated with distinct economic effects, and this paper focuses on those effects about which our knowledge is insufficient. We begin by discussing demographic aging at both the societal and the individual level, drawing distinctions between the two processes and showing how they are related, using data from the United States. We then proceed to reflect critically on what is known concerning the economic implications of an aging population and the economic well-being of older persons.
A change in the age of a population as a whole occurs when there has been a change in the age structure or age composition of the collectivity of individuals composing that population. Changes in an age structure are in turn caused by past____________________