Journal of Population Research

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 177–193 | Cite as

Demography and the new economy

  • John QuigginEmail author


The term ‘New Economy’ is used to refer to two distinct developments. The first is the increasing importance of pure services, particularly those related to information, and the corresponding decline in the importance of the goods-producing sector. The second is the liberalization of product and labour markets and the resulting decline of institutions like lifetime full employment. This development has been particularly evident in Australia and other English-speaking countries. Although there are connections between these two developments, their demographic implications are quite different. An information-based economy implies long periods of education, late childbearing and a reversal of the trend towards early retirement. Labour market liberalization implies extensive use of redundancy as a tool for labour force flexibility and an accentuation of the trend for workers over 50 to withdraw from the labour market. This trend has been sustainable so far because the baby boom has resulted in an increase in the proportion of the population aged 25 to 54. Within the next decade, this proportion will start to decline. If current institutions are maintained, an economic «ageing crisis» will arrive at least a decade earlier than would be suggested by an examination of traditional dependency ratios.


Labour Market Labour Force Participation Early Retirement Australian Bureau Wage Premium 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 1999.Labour Force Statistics. Canberra.Google Scholar
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2000a.Population by Age and Sex, Australian States and Territories. Canberra.Google Scholar
  3. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2000b.Population Projections, Australia. Canberra.Google Scholar
  4. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2001.Labour Force Statistics. Canberra.Google Scholar
  5. Baker, D., G. Epstein and R. Pollin (eds). 1998.Globalization and Progressive Economic Policy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Borland, J. 1996. Education and the structure of earnings in Australia.Economic Record 72(219):370–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Day, L. H. 1995.The Future of Low-Birthrate Populations London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. De Long, J. B. and L. Summers. 2001. How important will the information economy be? Some simple analytics. University of California at Berkeley.Google Scholar
  9. Ehrenberg, R. G. and R. S. Smith. 1991.Modern Labor Economics: Theory and Public Policy. New York: HarperCollins.Google Scholar
  10. Evans, J., D. Lippoldt and P. Marianna. 2001. Trends in working hours in OECD countries.,Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Paper No. 45. Paris: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).Google Scholar
  11. Giddens, A. 1999.The Third Way: The Renewal of Social Democracy. London: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  12. Gregory, R. G. 1996. Wage deregulation, low paid workers and full employment. Pp 81–101 in P. Sheehan, B. Grewal and M. Kumnick (eds.),Dialogues on Australia's Future: In Honour of the Late Professor Ronald Henderson. Melbourne: Centre for Strategic Economic Studies, Victoria University of Technology.Google Scholar
  13. Gruber, J. and D. Wise. 1997. Social security programs and retirement around the world.NBER Working Paper No. 6134. Cambridge MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.Google Scholar
  14. Langmore, J. and J. Quiggin. 1994.Work for All: Full Employment in the Nineties. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Latham, M. 1998.Civilising Global Capital: New Thinking for Australian Labor. Sydney: Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  16. McDonald, P. 2001. Work-family policies are the right approach to the prevention of very low fertility.People and Place 9(3):17–27.Google Scholar
  17. Mitchell, D. 1996. Social policy and the NCA: old whines in new bottles? Pp. 17–28 inWhat Should Governments Do? Auditing the National Commission of Audit. Canberra: Australia Institute.Google Scholar
  18. National Commission of Audit. 1996.Report to the Commonwealth Government. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service.Google Scholar
  19. Neumark, D. 2000. Changes in job stability and job security: a collective effort to untangle, reconcile, and interpret the evidence.NBER Working Paper No. 7472. Cambridge MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.Google Scholar
  20. Quiggin, J. 1999a. Globalisation, neoliberalism and inequality in Australia.Economic and Labour Relations Review 10(2):240–259.Google Scholar
  21. Quiggin, J. 1999b. Human capital theory and education policy in Australia.Australian Economic Review 32(2):130–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Quiggin, J. 2001. Resolving the University crisis. Submission to the inquiry of the Senate Employment, Workplace Relations, Small Business and Education Committee into the capacity of public universities to meet Australia's higher education needs.Google Scholar
  23. Tanner, L. 1999.Open Australid. Sydney: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  24. Toffler, A. and H. Toffler. 1994.Creating a New Civilisation: The Politics of the Third Wave. Atlanta: Turner Publishing.Google Scholar
  25. Wajcman, J. 1998.Managing Like a Man: Women and Men in Corporate Management. University Park PA: Pennsylvania State University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics and CommerceThe Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

Personalised recommendations