Sunday, October 29, 2023

Unlike Western Countries, Russia ‘Aging from Below’ rather than ‘Aging from Above,’ Russian Central Bank's ECONS Group Says

            Staunton, Oct. 26 – Economists are concerned about the way in which aging populations are putting a brake on growth because there are now fewer workers to support the growing number of elderly who have pensions, but those fears have been stoked by the data the economists use in measuring the two groups, Russian Central Bank ECONS experts say.

            Generally and up until recently almost exclusively, economists measured the size of the elderly population in terms of the number of people over a certain age, typically 60. But the survival rate of people reaching that “threshold of old age” now is far higher than it was in the past (

            In most countries of the West, the population over the age of 60 has risen dramatically because of improvements in lifestyles and healthcare, a very different situation than in the Russian Federation where increases in life expectancy have occurred largely “from below” as a result of lower birthrates than “from above” as a result of improved survivability.

            If one uses an alternative definition of the old, that of those reaching an age where they can expect on average to live another 15 years, the economic consequences of this difference between Russia and the West are enormous. In the West, in recent years, survival rates for those reaching 65 are jumped, while in Russia, they have remained almost flat.

            That means that efforts to save the economy by boosting the retirement age are unlikely to work as expected. Indeed, Russians and especially Russian men whose life expectancy figures lag far behind those of Russian women are not likely to have on average 15 years more of life at ages even below the newly boosted figures.

            The experts at the RCB who publish their findings on the ECONS do not speak for the bank as such, but their conclusions are likely to be taken up by those who oppose boosting the retirement age in the coming years and also by those who argue that Russia can improve its life expectancy figures only by improving medical care and life styles of the population.

            At the very least, the new report should warn those in the West from accepting without criticism the Putin regime’s pension age arguments because such arguments might be appropriate for Western countries, they aren’t in the case of his Russian Federation. 

No comments:

Post a Comment