The Demographics of InnovationWhy Demographics is a Key to the Innovation Race
As the population ages, which nation will rise to lead innovation in the future? Demographics of Innovation takes a deep, investigative look at the link between economic growth, innovation, vitality and entrepreneurship in an aging population, and provides smart strategy for the future. Written by a Stanford-trained economist and demographics expert, who is also a prominent internet entrepreneur, this book examines demographic trends across nations and digs into the divergence to find awakening innovation. An aging population hampers growth; while many are focused on the care-related financial burden, few have fully explored the ways in which a seismic demographic shift could transform the face of global business. This book charts the trends, connects the dots and reveals which nations will be best placed to build an innovation economy and grow in the future. Global business is set to undergo a revolution as aging populations mired in old thinking become left behind by younger, brighter, more forward-looking generations. Innovation loss is the first step in stagnation, so the question becomes: who will win and who will lose in this new world order? This book presents clear analysis of the coming demographic bomb, and proposes insightful strategy for the short and long term. Delve into the aging of society and the economic issues it creates Learn how shifting demographics affects innovation and prosperity Examine trends in growth, policy and more alongside the rise in average age Make smarter planning decisions in light of the changing population The problems of overpopulation pale in comparison to the problem of aging on a massive global scale. Demographics dictate growth rates, economic equilibrium, interest rates and so much more. Demographics of Innovation provides thought-provoking analysis and strategy for policy makers, business leaders, investors, entrepreneurs and everyone concerned about planning for an uncertain future.
Acknowledgments vii About the Author ix Introduction xi PART I THEORY AND POLICY 1 CHAPTER 1 Global Demographic Trends 3 CHAPTER 2 Demographics and Innovation 21 CHAPTER 3 Demographics and the Economy 63 CHAPTER 4 Resource and Environment 85 CHAPTER 5 Public Policy 107 PART II THE RACE OF INNOVATION 133 CHAPTER 6 Japan 135 CHAPTER 7 China 149 CHAPTER 8 The United States of America 173 CHAPTER 9 Europe 191 CHAPTER 10 India 209 Conclusion 225 Epilogue: Historical Competition Among Civilizations: An Essay on Transportation Technology, Demographics and the Race of Innovation 229 References 233 Index 235
JAMES LIANG, PhD, is both a prominent business leader and an accomplished economist. He is the co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Ctrip, now China's largest travel portal. James is also a professor at Peking University. As a trained economist and founder of successful Internet companies, he brings his unique insight and academic rigor to The Demographics of Innovation. James is a leading authority on demographics issues in the world.
The ever-aging population is a ticking time bomb that has the potential to stifle innovation and hamper economic growth. In recent decades—as a result of increased urbanization, industrialization, and resulting affluence—people are having fewer children. This new demographic scenario has created a set of troubling social problems, such as labor shortages and a decline of economic dynamism. In The Demographics of Innovation, James Liang eschews the traditional thinking that highlights the financial burden of the demographic shift and decries the global population collapse. Liang argues that many negative aspects of the impact of an aging population will be mild and manageable, maintaining that the most fundamental and irreparable problem of aging is the weakening of entrepreneurship and innovation. It's a fact that inventors and scientists are most productive in their 30s, and that most entrepreneurs start their firms at this age. As Liang explains, in an aging society, the opportunities for promotion are hindered by those who fall in an older demographic. In an aging society, young workers occupy relatively lower-level positions in organizations, and thus have lower social and political power, fewer skills, and more limited access to financial resources. Consequently, entrepreneurship vitality suffers. Data from Japan and other developed countries reveal that entrepreneurial activity is much lower in countries with an aging population. Liang argues that in order to maintain a young and growing, innovative workforce, a country needs to implement certain public policies: pro-fertility policy, an education policy, and an open immigration policy. Demographic expert James Liang explores which nations are best poised to build an innovative economy that will support sustainable economic growth into the future and discusses the prospect of future economic competition among the major economic powers of Japan, China, the United States, Europe, and India. The Demographics of Innovation offers a compelling argument for making the choices that are critical for winning the race of innovation.
PRAISE FOR THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF INNOVATION "His research on demographics and innovation has been very influential and will have profound implications for economic and social policies." —Jack Ma, Chairman, Alibaba.com "James Liang's The Demographics of Innovation: Why Demographics is a Key to the Innovation Race is a fascinating account of a new subject, namely the link between demographics, particularly population size and age structure, and innovation. Liang argues that demographics and population play the major role in affecting innovation. Population works through three primary channels: scale, agglomeration and aging. The scale effect is both supply and demand. Just as countries with large populations are more likely to win Olympic medals than small countries because they have a larger group of athletes on which to draw, so too are more ideas likely to be generated in countries with large populations. Also, markets are important. The larger the country, the larger the market, and the more chance to make innovation profitable. Agglomeration means that large, concentrated cities are helpful in providing supply chains that contribute to the rapid implementation of new ideas. Highly populated countries tend to have larger cities. Finally, older societies prohibit the young from getting the opportunities that generate the skills important for entrepreneurship. The book covers much ground and considers some of the potential adverse effects of large populations including wage effects and even climate change. The last section deals with specific examples and applications to major economies and large population centers, including the US, Europe, China, Japan and India. The book is a great read. It is full of information, facts and new insights and is easily digested." —Edward Lazear, Economics Professor, Stanford University; former Chairman, President's Council of Economic Advisers, The White House, 2006–2009 "As people become wealthier and more urbanized, they tend to live longer and have fewer children. Our societies are therefore getting much older, especially in Japan, China, the U.S., Europe, and India. In this important book, James Liang rigorously shows how an aging population can endanger innovation. The leaders of those countries should pay careful attention to his clarion call for new public policies that promote fertility, education, and immigration." —Jeffrey S. Lehman, Vice Chancellor, NYU Shanghai; former President, Cornell University "Demography is destiny. But, in China, people and policy have played extreme and historic roles in shaping that destiny. China's miracle growth, the nation's draconian one-child policy experiment and its extreme rural-urban inequality have created a set of population dynamics, present and future, that will have absolutely huge effects on the economy, on society and on politics and more. Unfortunately, there is a lot of myth and confusion about what is happening today, what will happen in the coming years and what can be done (and what can't be done) about the consequences. James Liang, one of the most influential economists and entrepreneurs in China in the realm of the nation's demographic transition, has written an absolute must-read book. He describes in readable, accessible terms what the demographic future in China is and what it means for the nation and its people. He also puts the changes in China into an international perspective. James helped China's government make the landmark decision to end the one child policy. This book, if they read it, will help them manage the nation in the coming years as China faces unprecedented pressures from the coming demographic changes." —Scott Rozelle, Economics Professor, Stanford University
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