The aim of this book is to analyze the economic dimensions of longevity, providing evidence from the Spanish case. It looks in particular at the socioeconomic characteristics of the elderly, the private and public expenditure associated with this group and its economic impact, the supply-side effects of longevity and the importance of the work, both paid and unpaid, associated with elderly care.
Private spending by the subject group (aged 65 and over) and public spending in their respect generate an impact equivalent to 11.7% of gross domestic product (GDP) and 20.4% of all employment, underscoring the importance of the “silver economy”.
The rise in longevity demands a rethink of dependent care and the viability of the current system, which mostly relies on informal provision by family members, especially women. The switch to a professional care model would represent an important source of employment and wealth generation, but also poses the challenge of how the associated burden of financing is to be shared.
From a long-term perspective, longevity may affect the economy’s potential growth. This effect is explored in three ways: through the composition of the population according to participation in the production process (active and inactive); through its impact on productivity; and through a breakdown of employment by age group from the standpoint of sectors and occupations.
Combining the databases of various national and international institutions, the book contains prospective analyses that may provide useful input to policymaking, while offering reflections for readers keen to understand the challenges posed by longevity in Spain, especially for the maintenance of the welfare state.