The political impact of ageing on the economy

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Funded by: John Fell Fund

Start date: April 2019

End date: September 2020

Project outline

This project investigates the political impact of ageing on economic performance in advanced economies. Since elderly individuals may have different policy preferences, their growing number may influence the policies that electorally responsive governments choose to adopt, which in turn affects economic performance and inequality.

The first aim of the project is to carry out a systematic literature review of existing studies on the effects of ageing on politics and policies across several disciplines, including social policy, economics, politics, sociology, and population studies. This will provide a solid foundation for the development of a theoretical framework linking ageing to economic outcomes.

The second aim is to collect and analyse several existing datasets covering the policy preferences of elderly individuals, the position of political parties on public policies, and the variation in economic and social policies, as well as various economic outcomes in a sample of 20 OECD countries in the period 1970-2010. The variation over time and across countries of these indicators will be  mapped and preliminary empirical analysis will identify linkages between them.

This scoping exercise of previous literature and available datasets will result in two journal articles. It will thus contribute to our understanding of one of the main challenges facing contemporary welfare states and to existing studies on the consequences of ageing.

Vlandas, T. (2021) “Ageing and the Economy: a Literature Review of Political and Policy Mechanisms” Political Research Exchange

Vlandas, T. (2018) “Grey power and the economy: Ageing and inflation across advanced economies” Comparative Political Studies [PDF]

Vlandas, T. (2016) “The political effects of Ageing on Inflation” IntereconomicsReview of European Economic Policy [PDF]