IEMS Newsletter - Fall 2015 - page 1

Video recordings available at
Albert Park
, Director of HKUST IEMS, and
Jack Goldstone
Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University, and
incoming Director of HKUST’s Institute for Public Policy,
examined the political and economic ramifications of
population challenges facing emerging markets. Prof. Park
noted that demographic changes will boost growth in young
countries like India and African nations, but slow growth in
aging countries like China and nations in Latin America and
Eastern Europe.
For China in particular, Prof. Park stated that of greatest concern
to policymakers is China’s explosion of elderly population, as
this demographic group (those aged 65 and older) is forecast
to more than double in size from 130 to over 300 million
in the next 20 years, comprising over 1/4th of China’s total
population. Studies also show that this group is currently not
faring well economically, physically, or emotionally: 23% are
poor, 38% are somewhat handicapped, and 40% suffer from
Political and Economic
Consequences of Demographic
Change in Emerging Markets
HKUST IEMS – EY Hong Kong Emerging Market
Insights Series (2015.06.25)
elevated depressive symptoms. China needs to act quickly to
strengthen the social safety net supporting China’s elderly, in
particular though the integration of local and federal pension
schemes and social welfare systems.
On the political consequences of China’s aging population,
Prof. Goldstone pointed to recent studies revealing a strong
correlation between democratic governance and a country’s
median age– that is, the older a country’s population
becomes, the more likely it is to become democratic (as well
as more educated). As China ages and achieves ever-higher
levels of education, Prof. Goldstone predicts that China’s
population will incline increasingly toward democracy. By
2030, other emerging market countries such as Brazil, Russia,
Turkey, and Vietnam also are likely to experience a gradual
political shift toward democratization, as each country is
forecast to reach a median age of 40 with increasing levels of
The talk was held at EY’s executive
boardroom in Central, Hong Kong, and
organized by HKUST IEMS.
Jack Goldstone, Albert Park, Agnes Chan (EY Hong Kong), Wei Shyy (HKUST)
During the first half of 2015, HKUST IEMS was extremely active
fulfilling its mission to provide thought leadership on a range of
issues confronting emerging markets. The Institute organized a
busy schedule of events, including 4 conferences, 4 policy and
business talks, and 8 academic seminars, details of which you
can read about in this newsletter.
The Institute awarded Research Grants to support 10 new faculty
research projects, including collaborative grants among faculty
from different departments at HKUST and with leading scholars
outside the university. To disseminate faculty research findings
in an accessible way, HKUST IEMS produced 6 new Thought
Leadership Briefs. We also proudly launched a new academic
working paper series to make our faculty’s research papers more
visible on line. We have increased the video content on our
website and through social media to make our events and ideas
more accessible to a global audience.
After two years of steady development,
HKUST IEMS is now clicking on all
cylinders. None of the Institute’s
success would be possible without
an outstanding staff, strong support
from HKUST’s leadership team, and our
donors at EY, and the extraordinary
initiative and productivity of our
Institute’s Faculty Associates.
Director’s Message
Albert Park
FALL 2015
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