In the first half of this century in many of today's developed countries, the proportion of voting age populations 65 years old or older will roughly double. As voting age populations age, the proportion of net contributors to national budgets (mainly through taxes) will fall and the proportion of net beneficiaries (mainly through public pension and health care benefits) will rise. By mid-century in many wealthy countries, a near majority of electorates will become net beneficiaries of government expenditures, producing unprecedented changes in their political landscapes. We analyze three aspects of this phenomenon in Germany, Japan, and the United States.
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Document Type: Research Article
Professor, Department of Economics, Stony Brook University, New York; and Senior Research Scholar, World Population Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria
Publication date: September 1, 2007