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World faces "lost decade" of economic growth, says World Bank economist
World faces "lost decade" of economic growth, says World Bank economist | GZERO Media

World faces "lost decade" of economic growth, says World Bank economist

The World Bank predicts that the global economy now faces a decade of lost growth, in part due to an older workforce and lower productivity. Is the way out of the looming doldrums to have a young population like Nigeria?

Yes, but those countries will need help from wealthy nations to invest in things like education to reap the benefits of their demographic divided, World Bank deputy chief economist Ayhan Kose tells GZERO's Tony Maciulis at the World Bank/IMF spring meetings in Washington, DC.

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Demography and destiny: blessing or time bomb?

Demography is destiny. That ominous-sounding pronouncement, credited to French philosopher Auguste Comte, is today taken to mean that a nation's fate depends on the youthfulness of its population. For a poor country to become rich, it needs lots of young people ready to work, to support those too old or too young to work, and to pay taxes. This is called the "demographic dividend."

That's an important part of China's success story. Over the past 40 years, more than one billion people have emerged from poverty in China. Waves of young people surged from the countryside into cities to work in factories. The state invested in education, and wages helped young workers, and then their children, go to school. The state also began a drive to develop the technologies of the future, by any means necessary. In China, once dirt-poor, hundreds of millions have created a middle class.

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