Demographic Change, Welfare, and Intergenerational Transfers: Globalization and Late Careers in Local Communities
sociology National Open University, Taiwan Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Taiwan
The shift towards a technology and knowledge-based economy may hit older workers harder since there is growing demand for multi-skilled and flexible labor. Global forces shape the employment landscape in ways that are not conducive to older workers? job prospects. The declines in fertility and increasing life expectancies have an effect on population structures. An active employment policy is central to the vision of becoming the competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world capable of sustainable economic growth with greater social cohesion. As the social contract is being renegotiated, economic rules change and intergenerational redistribution patterns are adjusted. Attention to the economic aspects of population aging and implications for the social contract and intergenerational equity, has grown into a preoccupation. The welfare state is gradually replaced by a new workfare state that the government?s aim is to rebuild the welfare state around work and by the creation of an active society. Policy responses to these population changes will influence the economy, intergenerational equity and social welfare for decades. Local communities, Taiwan faces the challenges of an aging population and a transition to market institutions to deal with the economic consequences of aging. There are themes related to ageing experience, intergenerational relations, economics and social policy, and the culture of ageing. Demographic pressure is forcing Taiwan to face challenges concerning intergenerational fairness and social cohesion. This paper presents an analysis of the dynamics of demographic transition in Taiwan, and combines aspects of social change as well as the development of social inequality in later life, and describes the economic implications of an aging labor force. This paper provides a mixture of theoretical and empirical analyses of the macroeconomic and policy implications of population aging. Using data derived from the national survey on family income and expenditure, and drawing upon the framework of the national transfer accounts system, we shall estimate the changing age profile of intergenerational transfers of resources over the period from 1980 to 2007. The analysis is an effort to understand how these changes will interact with population aging to influence economic growth and intergenerational equity in Taiwan.