Annual Workshop on Population Aging and the Chinese Economy

Annual Workshop on Population Aging and the Chinese Economy
Australia-China Population Aging Research Hub in collaboration with the
APRU Population Aging Research Hub


The 3rd Annual Workshop on Population Aging and the Chinese Economy, hosted jointly by the APRU Population Aging Research Hub and the Australian-China Population Ageing Research Hub (both located in the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR) at the University of New South Wales), took place on July 11-12, 2017 on UNSW campus in Sydney. The workshop attracted 35 participants who came together for an exciting two-day program.



The first day of the workshop featured six presentations from renowned international experts and a lively roundtable discussion. The second day was reserved for presentations from nine PhD students or early career researchers from APRU universities and other universities in Australia and Asia, who presented their innovative projects and received feedback from the senior experts and other workshop participants in a collegial and constructive atmosphere.


Workshop began with a welcome address by Professor John Piggott, the director of both CEPAR and the Australian-China Population Ageing Research Hub, followed by an overview of the Hub’s current research activities which was presented by Professor Hanming Fang, who is Professor in Economics at the University of Pennsylvania and the Hub’s Scientific Director. The Hub’s current China-focused research addresses aging trends, long-term care services and financing, labor force participation, retirement incomes financial products and the role of housing for retirement financial planning in China. More information about the Hub can be found here.



This was followed by the keynote address delivered by Professor Nicholas Barr from the London School of Economics. His presentation was titled “Pension design in China: Lessons from economic theory and some traveller’s tales” and provided an important contribution to the ongoing policy debate on pension reforms in China. Professor Barr started his lecture by summarizing key results on optimal pension design from existing economic theory. He then discussed lessons learned from other countries such as Chile and Sweden where he has advised governments on the design of their pension systems. He concluded his talk with recommendations for reforms of the Chinese pension system.


The keynote address was followed by presentations from five experts in the areas of pension policy and long-term care in China:

1. Professor Jin Feng from Fudan University who presented on “Retirement and Grandchild Care in Urban China”
2. Dr Shang Wu from UNSW Sydney who presented on “Delaying the Public Pension Age in China: Implications for Labour Force Participation and Individual Welfare”
3. Professor Rong Peng from Guangdong University of Finance and Economics who presented on “The Impact of Long-Term Care Policy on Family Elder Care Costs in  China: A System Dynamics Simulation”
4. Dr Ji Chen from Jinan University who presented on “How Does China’s Family Planning Policy Affect the Quality of Life in Old Age?”
5. Professor Bingqin Li from UNSW Sydney who presented on “Challenges of Urbanization on the Pension System”



The formal program of the first day of the workshop concluded with a roundtable discussion on “Retirement Policy Reform” in China moderated by Professor John Piggott with statements and comments from Professor Hazel Bateman (UNSW Sydney), Professor Hanming Fang (University of Pennsylvania), Dr Bei Lu (CEPAR, UNSW Sydney) and Dr Mike Orszag (Willis Towers Watson).


The second day of the workshop featured presentations from nine PhD students and early career researchers who were selected via a competitive process and whose applications were received from APRU universities across Asia and Australia. The topics were varied and covered important relevant issues in population aging and regarding the Chinese economy, including presentations on the fiscal implications of aging and economic change, health and disability trends, life satisfaction of older Chinese and intergenerational transfers.



Five of the nine presenters were successful in obtaining competitive travel bursary grants to assist with their travel to the workshop.