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An ageing Australia: Small beer or big bucks?

Chairman's speech

On 29 April 2004, the Chairman Gary Banks gave an address, An ageing Australia: small beer or big bucks?, to the South Australian Centre for Economic Studies, Economic Briefing in Adelaide. The speech makes reference to the study, Economic Implications of an Ageing Australia, the final report of which was released on 12 April 2005.

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  • Contents

Demography is a powerful force

Where have all the workers gone?
Participation falls with age
Female vs male participation trends
Aggregate participation will fall
Unemployment falls, but so do hours worked

Ageing and economic growth
The labour ‘problem’ in historical perspective

What budgetary implications?

Health care costs rise steeply for older Australians

The confusing roles of demand and technology

Two contrary views about ageing and health
Trends in disability: older longer or just older later?
Are the costs of dying, not age, the real driver of health spending?

Projecting Australia’s health costs

Some ‘health warnings’ on projections

Some policy implications
“Don’t panic!! Don’t panic!!”
Can we lift labour force participation?
The productivity imperative remains
Cost-effective service delivery counts too

Bottom line