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인구구조 고령화의 경제적 영향과 대응과제 (1)(Population aging in Korea: economic impacts and policy issues)

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Frame of Image 였으며 다른 후발 국가들도 앞으로 경험하게 될 현상이다. 그러나 과거 수십년 혹은 1세기에 걸쳐 점진적으로 고령화의 과정을 겪 은 선진국들과 달리, 우리나라는 2000년에 고령화사회(aging society)에 진입한 이래, 2019년에는 19년이라는 짧은 시간에 고령사회(aged society) 로 이행하며, 그 이후에도 불과 7년 후에는 다시 선진국들과 비슷한 수 준의 초고령사회(super-aged society)로 이행하게 된다. 고령화에 대한 대비는 미래의 일이 아니다. 고령화는 저축률을 하락 시켜 경제성장을 둔화시킬 가능성이 있으며, 복지․후생 수요를 증대시 켜 재정부담을 증가시키는 효과가 있다. 그러나 이보다 더욱 중요한 영 향은 고령화는 기존의 사회․경제제도에 고령인구 증가로 인한 부담을 가중시켜 연금제도 자체의 장기지속성 훼손과 재정수지 악화 혹은 연금 기여금의 과도한 상승 등을 유발하여 경제성장력을 저해하고 세대 간 분배의 형평성 문제를 첨예하게 할 우려가 있다. 이와 같이 고령화의 효 과는 우리나라의 경제․사회제도와 맞물려서 나타나게 된다. 그러므로 고령화에 대비하는 경제정책 방향은 필수적으로 제도의 개혁을 수반한 다. 그러나 최근의 국민연금법 개정과정에서 보는 바와 같이 국민 각계 각층의 이해관계의 상충을 수반하는 제도의 개혁은 몹시 어려운 일이 다. 외국의 사례를 보더라도 특히 사회․경제제도의 개혁은 적기에 이 루어진 적이 없으며 엄청난 사회․경제적 비용이 발생하고 나서야 개혁 이 이루어지는 일이 비일비재하였다. 그러나 고령화에 대비한 개혁이 미루어질수록 그 파급효과는 보다 심대하게 될 것이다. 현 시점에서 우리가 고령화 문제에 대하여 연구하고 고령사회에 미
리 대비하여야 하는 필요성은 바로 여기에 있다. 고령화가 미래의 우리 사회에 어떠한 영향을 미칠 것인가 하는 점은 우리가 이 도전과제를 어 떻게 정확히 파악하고 국민의 합의를 이끌어내어 사전에 충분히 대비를 할 수 있느냐에 달려 있다. 특히 우리나라의 급속한 고령화는 이에 대비 할 시간적 여유가 충분하지 않음을 의미한다. 고령화는 향후 급속히 이 루어질 것이므로 정책적 혼란이 허용될 수 있는 여지는 매우 작다. 연금 제도의 적기 개정, 공적기금의 팽창에 따른 운영상의 문제 개선을 비롯 하여 앞으로 닥쳐올 고령화에 따른 도전과제들은 고령화사회의 진전에 대한 대비라는 먼 장래의 일을 염두에 두고 일관되게 대처해나가야 할 일이다. 고령화의 경제적 영향은 이와 같이 기존의 경제․사회제도와 맞물려 서 나타나며 각국의 제도는 서로 다르므로, 각국에 따라 매우 상이한 형 태로 나타난다. 그러므로 한국의 고령화 문제에 대해서는 우리의 독자 적인 연구가 요구된다. 그리고 고령화의 영향은 경제 전반에 걸쳐 광범 하게 나타나므로 종합적인 연구가 필요하다. 특히 고령화에 대비하는 경제정책은 경제성장, 재정, 금융, 노동시장 등 각 부문에 걸쳐 그 효과 가 유기적으로 연계되어 있으므로 정책방향의 수립에 있어서는 다른 부 문에서의 정책적 수요를 종합적으로 고려할 필요가 있다. 이러한 필


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Title 인구구조 고령화의 경제적 영향과 대응과제 (1)(Population aging in Korea: economic impacts and policy issues)
Similar Titles
Material Type Reports
Author(Korean)

최경수

Publisher

서울:한국개발연구원

Date 2003
Series Title; No 정책포럼 / 2003-06
Pages 480
Subject Country South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language Korean
File Type Documents
Original Format pdf
Subject Economy < General
Social Development < Population
Holding KDI; KDI School
License

Abstract

The rapid aging of Korea’s population is an issue that demands urgent action. The Korea Development Institute therefore decided to conduct a nationwide study, titled Population Aging in Korea: Economic Impacts and Policy Issues, between 2003 and 2004. This report presents the first results of the study conducted in 2003.

The widespread economic implications of the aging of a population have had particularly pronounced correlations with certain types of economic and social systems. Previous attempts at reform failed to reconcile the interests of the different classes and demonstrated that poorly timed reform can worsen the effects of population aging and delay the process of social change. The gravity and rapid pace of population aging make it a challenging problem to tackle. However, establishing policy directions and accurately analyzing the issue in a timely manner can help mitigate the situation. This report is based on the results of an empirical, comprehensive study of the main issues surrounding the aging of the Korean population, taking into account the distinct characteristics of Korea’s socioeconomic systems and the complexity of the social impact of an aging population. The next report, which will be published in 2004, will focus on the policy issues that have been identified from the results (discussed in detail in a later section of this report).

Chapter 1. The Issues of an Aging Population” will categorize the main issues of population aging, discuss research tasks, and clearly outline the current status and direction of research.

Chapter 2. Prospects and Analysis of Population Aging” explains Korea’s rapidly aging population as a product of late industrialization and compressed economic development. This chapter also mentions the declining fertility rate in Korea and attributes the cause of delayed childbearing to the higher education levels attained by women. It discusses how the birth rate is expected to reach a historic low in the 2000s and show a slight increase thereafter, although the growth will not be sufficient to alleviate the aging problem in any significant way. Another factor of Korea’s aging population presented in this chapter is the massive layoffs of young people in the labor force following the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Policies aimed at increasing birth rates have shown little to no success worldwide, giving rise to suggestions that such policies would be better suited as family policies rather than population growth policies.

Chapter 3. The Macroeconomics of an Aging Population” analyzes the macroeconomic consequences of population aging. First, the dynamic simulation model of generational accounting created by Alan J. Auerbach and Laurence J. Kotlikoff is used to illustrate that the current trend of population aging will lead to a drop in the national savings rate, resulting in a low gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. Second, the empirical analyses based on the overlapping generations model of neoclassical growth theory as well as on the demographic change in endogenous growth models demonstrate that: (a) the rate of population aging, rather than the severity, is responsible for halting economic growth; (b) the shift in demographic change suggests that there are quality-quantity tradeoffs when it comes to bearing children in modern society; and (c) an aging population may not pose a direct threat to the economy as long as it is a product of industrialization. These conclusions imply that future policies should focus on improving a variety of existing systems that have the potential to compromise the understanding of economic forces, rather than on the aging population problem itself.

Chapter 4. Population Aging and Finance” discusses the impact of an aging population on financial supply and demand. The first section of the chapter hypothesizes that government expenditure determines government revenue, and analyzes how that revenue is affected by the aging of the population. Conducted under the assumption that Korea will eventually follow in the footsteps of other OECD countries, the analysis used panel data on 30 OECD countries collected between 1970 and 2001. The results suggest that population aging seems to reduce the tax burden at first, but later causes it to increase over time, and that this phenomenon is remarkably more common in super-aged societies. These findings show that devising a balanced expenditure plan is crucial to preventing extreme tax burden and deficit and mitigating the harmful effects of population aging on government finance. The second section lists several institutional reform goals designed to promote the longevity of the policy system and maintenance of budget balance—based on the financial prospects of the public pension, which is another government expenditure that is expected to increase significantly over time due to the demographic shift—and social insurance policies, including health insurance schemes.

Chapter 5. An Aging Population and the Financial Market” examines the three aspects of the financial market of an aging society, including the relationship between pension plans and the size of personal savings, trends in the demand for financial assets, and role of pension funds in the growth of the financial market. The first section of the chapter explores the correlation between pensions and the size of savings. It was found that, in Korea, expanding public pension schemes tends to reduce household savings, and that occupational pensions tend to have a more negative impact on private savings than do national pensions. If Korea switches from a partially funded to a pay-as-you-go pension scheme, the effect on household savings could be more pronounced. Policymakers therefore need to devise a plan for maintaining the current partially funded pension scheme. The second section of the chapter discusses the demographic structure of asset demand and how asset demand trends vary in an aging society. It contends that increasing the ratio of financial assets to total assets can help offset the ever-increasing effects of population aging, as it is predicted that both financial assets and total assets will grow until the 2030s. The third section examines the role of pension funds in a capital market, disputing the argument that pension funds necessarily induce economic growth. It also argues that, in order for pension funds to truly stimulate capital development, there needs to be a good governance structure to hold pension fund managers accountable and more regulations regarding competition in asset management. Infrastructure effort to improve the capital market’s efficiency is another requirement, based on the study on the current status of markets.

Chapter 6. Population Aging and the Job Market” focuses on the job market for the elderly. The first section explores the factors of change in the economic activities of the elderly in Korea. In the long term, it is estimated that elderly workers, particularly those with higher levels of education, will come to represent a significant portion of total elderly employment. Moreover, the economic activities of elderly men outside the agricultural sector in the last decade have been carried out mainly by wageworkers in their late 50s and early 60s, suggesting that the retirement age plays a significant role in determining the economic activity level of the elderly. The systemic influence of early retirement is thus expected to play an increasingly larger role in the job market for elderly workers. The second section identifies the long-term determinants of the labour market activity rates of the elderly, arguing that the surge of growth in elderly labor activity from the mid-1960s to 1997 can be attributed to the agricultural sector in rural areas. The section concludes that the future prospects of labor force participation by the elderly is becoming increasingly bleak, as the populations of rural and agrarian communities decline and that of the highly educated demographic with low labour activity increases.

Finally, Chapter 7. Summary and Policy Implications” summarizes the main arguments and policy implications discussed in this report.