ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Demographic Dividend Revisited: The Mismatch between Age and Economic Activity-Based Dependency Ratios

This paper dramatises some of the problems with the idea behind the demographic dividend by comparing theoretical dependency ratios (derived from population age distributions) with actual dependency ratios (based on work participation rates) in India. It finds that once one looks at actual dependency - the ratio of non-workers to workers - not only is this still very high, it has probably worsened in recent times. Moreover, it might worsen further if we achieve the highly desirable goal of eliminating child labour and the ultimately justifiable goal of reducing old-age labour, unless there is a major rise in working age labour force participation and/or productivity.

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