Quebec is undergoing major socio-demographic change. Its population is aging, more rapidly than in the rest of Canada and most OECD countries. In the early 2010s, there were over 4.0 working-age individuals for each senior in Quebec, and over 4.3 in Canada; by 2030-31, this ratio should fall to under 2.5. This population aging will depress economic growth and exert significant pressure on the revenues and expenditures of Canada's and Quebec’s governments. This naturally raises significant concerns over Quebecers’ standards of living, as well as over the health of Canada's and Quebec’s public finances.
The Industrial Alliance Research Chair on the Economics of Demographic Change relies on a collaboration between HEC Montréal, UQAM’s École des sciences de la gestion (management school) and Université Laval’s Faculty of social sciences to advance scientific knowledge and provide decision-makers with useful evidence on economic issues related to demographic change.
- To document and analyze the potential effects of demographic change on standards of living, population health, and public and private finances in Québec and Canada;
- To understand the impact of demographic change on behaviour related to work, retirement, savings, use of the healthcare and long-term care systems, and human capital accumulation;
- To contribute to the understanding and formulation of private and public policy to address the negative impacts of demographic change and sustain standards of living and quality of life while ensuring the financial security of citizens and governments.
Under the joint leadership of professors Raquel Fonseca (ESG UQAM), Bernard Fortin (Université Laval) and Pierre-Carl Michaud (HEC Montréal), all CIRANO fellows, the Chair’s work builds upon the expertise of numerous professors whose work in public economics, the economics of human resources and the economics of aging and health are known worldwide for their relevance and rigour.
Among other tools, the Chair’s research program builds upon microsimulation models built by the team that allow for the analysis over several decades of the distribution of living conditions (family, income, wealth, health) and of the nature of some individual behaviours (fertility, migration, work, saving, health care use), and to prospectively simulate their sensitivity to various economic policies and macro-economic and demographic conditions. This unique expertise provides an economically consistent way of understanding and predicting family and individual behaviour, as well as an understanding of their effects on private and social welfare.