PLoS One. 2023 Mar 14;18(3):e0282913. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0282913. eCollection 2023.
The aging population is a common problem faced by most countries in the world. This study uses 18 years (from 2002 to 2019) of panel data from 31 regions in China (excluding Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan Province), and establishes a panel threshold regression model to study the non-linear impact of the aging population on economic development. It is different from traditional research in that this paper divides 31 regions in China into three regions: Eastern, Central, and Western according to the classification standard of the National Bureau of Statistics of China and compares the different impacts of the aging population on economic development in the three regions. Although this study finds that the aging population promotes the economy of China’s eastern, central, and western regions, different threshold variables have dramatically different influences. When the sum of export and import is the threshold variable, the impact of the aging population on the eastern and the central region of China is significantly larger than that of the western region of China. However, when the unemployment rate is the threshold variable, the impact of the aging population on the western region of China is dramatically higher than the other regions’ impact. Thus, one of the contributions of this study is that if the local government wants to increase the positive impact of the aging population on the per capita GDP of China, the local governments of different regions should advocate more policies that align with their economic situation rather than always emulating policies from other regions.