Macroeconomic policy

Monday 17 October 2022

Demographic destiny?

How age, race, gender and class shape our economy

People’s characteristics can shape many aspects of their lives, including their economic lives – from where they shop and live, the assets they hold – and the jobs they do. These impacts filter through to the shape of a country’s economy – with knock-on effects for government spending, interest rates, wealth and longer-term growth. Attempts to achieve widely shared goals for faster growth, or political objectives for particular levels of taxation, need to rest on an understanding of the interactions between demography and economics.

To what extent does someone’s gender, age, race, education and upbringing affect what they buy, where they live and what job they do? How do these effects feed into a country’s level of growth and productivity? What impact does this have on the public finances? And how can policy makers use an understanding of Britain’s demographics to design better policies, from health and pensions, to migration and the environment?

The Resolution Foundation is co-hosting an event with the Society of Professional Economists to debate and answer these questions. Following presentations from Amlan Roy, who recently published a book on this topic, and Dr Norma Cohen, the panellists will discuss how understanding demography can improve economic policy making and bring about higher growth.