Ageing: more than a question of public finances

Philippe Ledent

Philippe Ledent

Expert Economist

Awareness of the seriousness of climate change and rising inequality is constantly growing, which is important to trigger the necessary reforms. Ageing, on the other hand, is more difficult to keep central to economic policy. This is all the more paradoxical because this structural shock received due attention early on in Belgium and was easily foreseeable.

In this article, we show that the effects of aging are broader than just those on public finances. But the other effects are indirectly likely to change the fiscal cost of aging itself.

Specifically, aging represents a major shock to the labor market, the real estate sector, labor productivity and, of course, the sectoral distribution of economic activity in Belgium, with a major challenge for the healthcare sector in particular.

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