Asia's shrinking demographic dividend

Good demographics have long given Asian economies a free ride to growth, but some countries are squandering this birthright and for others, it may no longer be enough.

Back in 1994, Paul Krugman enraged Asians with his foreign affairs article The Myth of Asia’s Miracle. In it, he argued that seemingly remarkable growth in countries such as Singapore was not so remarkable after all. None of the expansion was the result of a rise in productivity, he said. Rather, all could be explained by an increase in measured inputs, namely of labour and capital.

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