||The vigorous economic growth in Japan after World War II triggered the demographic change of low fertility, low mortality and increasing life expectancy. Japan’s “Dankainosedai” (Baby boomer) getting old led to a rapid aging society in the past twenty years. Currently, the percentage of older people in Japan significantly exceeds global average and even reaches a level so called super-aging society. Such phenomenon of baby bust and population aging not only deteriorates the economic growth but also reduces government’s budget for public construction, leads to rural-urban divide, and causes major social issues such as family support, retirement and healthcares. Recent literature focusing on influence of demographic transition on economic growth was primarily based on cross-sectional data or panel data. Few articles presented analysis using the prefecture -by- prefecture or regional data as a base. Therefore, we try to clarify the interaction between demographic change and economic growth by using 47 prefectures’ statistic data of Japan, which is very well collected and ideal for conducting documental regression analysis. The objective of this paper is to provide some conclusions from Japan which might be useful for the government of Taiwan when making population and economic policy. |
Following Bloom and Williamson（1998）, this paper seek to examine the links between several variables, such as demographic change , and economic growth, by running regressions on panel data covering 47 prefectures of Japan during 1975-2008. We found that population growth, age structure, physical capital and industrial structure did have significant impact on growth rates of Japan. Population growth as a whole and the young and elderly dependants had a strong negative impact on economic growth, while growth of the working-age population and physical capital had strong positive impact. The result shown that the economic growth of Japan was impeded for a few years since the age structure of population was shifted to constrictive type which is caused by baby bust and aging. We also tried different frameworks to examine the influence of various variables, such as selecting some prefectures with unique feature, segmenting seven major economic regions, or dividing years in two periods （before and after the year with bubble economy 1989）. We can make a conclusion that comparing with the period 1975 -1989, the economic growth rate during 1990-2008 slumped due to the changes of age structure, physical capital and industrial structure.