3rd APA Conference, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, July 27-30, 2015

Countries in Asia are at different stages of the demographic transition. How should policies respond? In a plenary session at the 3rd Asian Population Association (APA) Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Asia NTA network members Sang-Hyop Lee, M.R. Narayana, and Suphannada Lowhachai discussed how National Transfer Accounts may be used to shed insights on important policy questions concerning how changes in population age structure will impact different aspects of society, including economic growth, generational equity, and public finances.

This year's APA conference was hosted by the University of Malaya, National Population and Family Development Board, Federation of Reproductive Health Association, and the United Nations Population Fund. Researchers and experts from 35 countries presented almost 1200 papers at the conference. Download the complete program from the conference website.


Population Dynamics and Social Policy: National Transfer Accounts (NTA) Approach

Prof. Sang-Hyop Lee (East-West Center and the University of Hawai`i at Manoa)

Several countries in Asia, such as India and the Philippines, are experiencing a demographic dividend as their populations become increasingly concentrated in the working ages. For these countries, it is important to examine conditions and policies that affect the size of the dividend and convert the transitory age distribution benefit into a long term boost for rates of economic growth. In other countries in Asia, such as Japan, China, and Vietnam, the working-age population is growing slowly or in decline and the old-age population is growing rapidly. There are concerns about slow economic growth or economic decline due to a large dependent old-age population or low saving rates. The National Transfer Accounts (NTA) provides a unique and invaluable framework for investigating how changes in population age structure will influence economic development, economic security, generational equity, gender equality, public finances, retirement and pension, human resources such as education and healthcare, and many other important public policy issues. The goal of the NTA is to improve our understanding of the generational economy, and describes the age patterns of economic activity and the economic relations between the generations. The presentation provides an overview of the NTA and demonstrate how the accounting system by age addresses the issues related with population dynamics and social policy issues.

Presentation slides: APA3KLM_SHLee

Macroeconomic Policy Analyses by Using National Transfer Accounts: New Evidence and Implications for India

Dr. M.R. Narayana (Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore)

Construction of Flow-Account Identity of National Transfer Accounts (NTA) has a great potential for many macroeconomic policy analyses. This presentation offers new evidence for India based on the analyses of (a) growth effects of age structure transition through First Demographic Dividend and (b) proposals for public-funded and universal old age pension policies and their fiscal sustainability as India experiences population ageing. Policy implications from these analyses are highlighted by needs for (i) productivity improvement through human capital investments, (ii) public-expenditure switching and generosity policies to meet with additional public resources requirements for implementation of universal old age pension schemes, and (iii) overall fiscal policy adjustments to achieve a long term inter-generational equity. Subject to the comparability of economic structures, the above NTA-based macroeconomic analyses, evidence and implications of India are of relevance for growth and distribution oriented policy-design in other developing countries of Asia.

Presentation slides: APA3KLM_MRNarayana

National Transfer Accounts and Fiscal Impacts of Demographic Transition in Thailand

Dr. Suphannada Lowhachai (National Economic and Social Development Board, Government of Thailand)

Over the past decade, Thailand has experienced rapid demographic change toward an aging society. This brings about both economic and social impacts to the country. The latest National Transfer Account (NTA) of Thailand is employed to analyze the current pattern of income and consumption across ages in Thailand. A brief history of NTA in Thailand will be introduced followed by a summary of the compilation methods. Then the results of NTA will be presented to illustrate how each age group acquires sources to finance their consumption demand as well as the overall interactions of population across generations. Finally, the effect of demographic change on the overall life-cycle balance will be analyzed with policy implications to handle such impacts.

Presentation slides: APA3KLM_Lowhachai

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