Demographic Challenges to Labour Market Dynamics - Class Conflict and Social Transformation

By: Aashima Sinha  

The purpose of the paper is to highlight the challenge of aging population that the capitalist economies worldwide are facing; study its repercussions on the socio-economic conditions and the need to rethink our policies. From a political economy point of view, demographic changes will result in a shrinking of the working age population and hence a decline in the reserve army of labour. The study is based on Marxian theory of falling rate of profit and establishes how a declining reserve army will put pressure on profit due to changing balance of power between capitalists and workers. There will be a negative impact on growth rate due to constrained capital accumulation and one can expect a wave of social conflict. This aligns with the idea of internal contradictions in capitalism and the need for capitalist to look for alternative strategies or some form of social transformation triggered by social conflict. This indeed would require the role of policy and institutions to change. The study tries to support these arguments using an empirical analysis of various demographic indicators in core, semi-periphery, and periphery countries and undertakes a case study on Japan to show how a fast-paced aging of population led Japan to resort to robots in order to deal with the declining workforce and hence shape its policies. What remains to be studied further is how the political setup and the mindset of beneficiaries in capitalist economies can be altered to meet the changing socio-economic and demographic conditions of society.

Economic and Demographic Perspectives on Aging
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Aashima Sinha

PhD candidate, Teaching Assistant, Department of Economics, University of Utah, United States
Utah, United States

I am a Graduate Teaching Assistant and PhD candidate currently in my second year at the University of Utah, United States. I have done my undergraduation and Masters in Economics from Delhi, India. My key areas of interest includes Development Economics, Labour Economics and Macroeconomics. I have been involved in various social impact initiatives in my home country and successfully  established a social enterprenuership initiative for a group of women providing them a means of livelihood. I am passionate about studying economics and other fields to try to culminate them into something beneficial for the society. I am a keen learner and enjoy the process and not just the end result. I am fond of cooking and love to do art and craft.