The Great Demographic Reversal: Ageing Societies, Waning Inequality, and an Inflation Revival by Charles Goodhart & Manoj Pradhan - review by Frances Cairncross

Frances Cairncross

Coming of Age

The Great Demographic Reversal: Ageing Societies, Waning Inequality, and an Inflation Revival

By

Palgrave Macmillan 260pp £22.99 order from our bookshop
 

Here is a really persuasive and unsettling book about the future, based not on science or sociology but on economics and demography. Charles Goodhart, an octogenarian British economist who has had a distinguished career in academia and at the Bank of England, and Manoj Pradhan, an American-educated academic who has founded his own macroeconomic research firm, have looked at how changing birth rates and increased longevity, coupled with globalisation, will affect the world economy. As they point out, surprisingly few economists have thought to connect the vast changes they describe.

The sweep of their book is tremendous and its language is generally clear enough for a non-economist to understand. Its message is simple and disconcerting: we have lived through the good years and what lies ahead will be much more difficult. Moreover, the pandemic will accelerate the trends the authors

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