DP82 Demographic Change and Medical Care

Author(s): Jay M Winter
Publication Date: October 1985
Keyword(s): Baby Boom, Demographic Change, Fertility Decline, Funding of Welfare Services, Health Policy
JEL(s): 826, 841, 913
Programme Areas: Human Resources
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=82

This paper examines the implications for health policy of recent demographic trends. It examines the remarkable succession of a 'baby boom' generation followed by a 'baby bust' generation in most Western countries. After reviewing the explanatory literature, and rejecting the likelihood of any major reversal in the process of fertility decline, it offers a series of options relevant to the question of whether replacement fertility now may be an essential prerequisite of the funding of welfare services, including medical care, when the 'baby boom' generation comes to retire around the year 2015. Because of the glacial nature of demographic change, policy options in this field must be considered now. Otherwise it will be too late to affect the trends which arise out of current demographic behaviour.