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Major funding for population ageing research in emerging countries: CEPAR researchers to develop cutting-edge economic policy model


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CEPAR researchers Dr George Kudrna, Scientia Professor John Piggott and Professor Peter McDonald, in collaboration with the World Bank and the Indonesian Planning Authority, have secured over $200,000 funding under the most recent Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Projects Scheme, along with $150,000 in partner funding.

The research project brings together a world-class team of Australian experts who, in combination with specialist investigators within The World Bank and the Indonesian Planning Authority, will develop a cutting-edge economic policy model that can be used by emerging economies in Asia.

“Our project will support major social and economic policy development in a rapidly ageing region,” said Dr George Kudrna, CEPAR Senior Research Fellow at UNSW Sydney and the lead Chief Investigator on the grant.

“The project will break new ground by developing a cutting-edge economic policy model reflecting salient features of ageing in emerging economies, taking into account the wider implications for education, employment, formalisation, growth, and retirement."

Scientia Professor John Piggott, CEPAR Director and a Chief Investigator on the project team said, “there is an imperative need for such a tool as the Asian region is confronting rapid population ageing.”

The number of people in their 60s and older are expected to more than double in the Asian region, from about 520 million today to about 1.2 billion in the next 30 years.

“For Southeast Asian economies, this demographic transformation is occurring simultaneously with major shifts in labour markets, technology and formalisation, and against a backdrop of deficient social protection policies particularly for the elderly,” said John Piggott.

“Indonesia – the region’s most populous and the world’s fourth most populous country - is on the brink of a major pension reform and will be used as a test bed. Data sets will be developed to allow the model structure to be applied to other emerging economies in Asia.

“Ultimately, the aim is to bring the armoury of policy analysis instruments available to emerging countries up to the standard now enjoyed by the developed world.

“To facilitate this, we will establish an extensive outreach program in collaboration with our partners to enable knowledge transfer to stakeholders in the region. This includes convening two end-user workshops and developing and distributing user-friendly code and associated manuals to render a very technical model accessible to a multitude of end-users.”