Economic performance

In 2014 World Population Program (POP) scientists studied predictors of economic growth in both developed and developing countries and also made an empirical study of the role of the new prospective aging measures as a predictor of income growth in Europe.

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The results demonstrated that prospective aging measures (which differ from chronological age by taking into account changes in remaining life expectancy) better explain the recent population growth experience of European economies. Compared to standard measures of aging, prospective indicators are especially relevant for predicting economic growth perspectives in the long run [1].

At the same time educational attainment and distribution are critical for explaining and predicting economic growth patterns across least developed countries and over time. The critical importance of secondary education in determining economic development is revealed by modeling the macroeconomic impact of three different education-specific policy/investment scenarios [2].

The ongoing process of population aging in Europe requires changes in age-specific economic behavior. POP scientist Alexia Fuernkranz-Prskawetz with colleagues from Vienna University of Technology undertook an analysis of the age- and gender-specific levels of production and consumption based on the methodology and data from National Transfer Accounts projects, income data from the European Survey of Income and Living Conditions, as well as data from Multinational Time Use Survey [3]. An important feature of the study was inclusion of unpaid housework (done mostly by women) that decreases gender differences in production activities. The study also led to a conclusion that the welfare system needs to take into account private transfers, including ones in the form of goods and services produced through unpaid household work, along with public transfers.


[1] Crespo Cuaresma J, Oberhofer H, Vincelette GA (2014) Firm growth and productivity in Belarus: New empirical evidence from the machine building industry. Journal of Comparative Economics, 42(3):726-738. 

[2] Basten S, Crespo Cuaresma J (2014) Modelling the macroeconomic impact of future trajectories of educational development in Least Developed Countries. International Journal of Educational Development, 36, 44-50.

[3] Hammer B, Prskawetz A, Freund I (2014). Production activities and economic dependency by age and gender in Europe: A cross-country comparison. The Journal of the Economics of Ageing. Available online at:


Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria.

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Last edited: 17 March 2015


Jesus Crespo Cuaresma

Research Scholar Migration and Sustainable Development Research Group - Population and Just Societies Program

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