Sustainable Policies in an Ageing Europe. A Human Capital Response

Publikationsår: 2006

Thomas Lindh and Joakim Palme eds.

Institutet för Framtidsstudiers skriftserie: Framtidens samhälle nr 3, 2006

Demographic projections indicate a considerable ageing of the European population. Part of the ageing is due to increasing longevity of persons above retirement age but the trend
is reinforced by birth rates falling in most countries. Social security and the welfare state are strongly redistributive over the life cycle of individuals. Financial pressures on social policy will thus increase. How can social policy be designed to generate a positive feed-back on fertility and human capital formation in general, and in other ways contribute to the future tax base?

When summarising the main policy message of this study, we emphasise that the interconnections in human capital formation calls for a greater coherence in designing productive social policies. We need to consider interactions between traditionally separated policy areas such as education and family policies and their connection to labour market policies. To invest in the young today in order to ensure the welfare of the elderly tomorrow appears to be a competitive complement to savings. Social policies in an aging society will also need to consider the intergenerational balance in order to design sustainable social policies. This report has been financed by the European Commission; Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities DG. The content of the publication does not necessarily reflect the views of the Commission.



    • Introduction: Sustainable Social Policy


    • Part 1: Explanatory Framework


    • Part 2: Demographic and social policy trends in contemporary Europe


    • Part 3: Child poverty and human capital formation


    • Part 4: Family policy, the gendered equality, poverty and fertility


    • Part 5: Life-long learning, fertility and retirement: Attitudes in a European perspective


    • Part 6: Quantitative estimates: fertility, education and gross domestic product


    • Part 7: Scenarios


    • Part 8: Conclusions


    • References


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