Resumen

La tasa de dependeneia es usualmenie definida, ya sea como la relació de la población joven y vieja a la poolación en edad de trabajar, o como la relación entre la población queno participa en la fuerza del trabajo y la población. que sí participa en ella. Pero los requerimientos de consurno de los dependienies puedenuariar consu edad.Por lo tanto, las variaciones en el verdadero peso quesignijica maniener una población dependiente, no necesitan ser asociadas positivamente conlas variaciones en su tamaño relativo; por ejemplo, cuando una disminución en el número relativo deto dos losdependientes va acompañada por un incremento en el número de ancianos. Más aún, bajo la definición de dependencia desde el punto de vista de participación en la fuerza de trabajo, las variaciones en el tiempo y a nivel internacional se ven complicadas por la tasa de participación. promedio de la población, la que varía no sólo con los cambios en su distribución etaria, sino también con los cambios en las normas sociales que regulan los hábitos de trabajo. En este estudio, se han utilizado escalas de equivalencia para adultos, derivadas de estudios de presupuesto familiar, para hacer a los dependientes de diversas edades, comparables en términos de la carga de mantenimiento que elias crean. De igual modo,se utilizaron tasasde participación: constante en lafuerza de trabajo, paraobtener estimaciones de la población que soportaba dicha carga. Así estimadas, las diferencias internacionales en la magnitud de la dependencia, aparecen más pequeñas de lo que suqiereun índice no ponderado que normalmente se usa.

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Summary

The dependency ratio is a measure of the effect which demographic factors exert on standards of living. It is usually defined either as the ratio of the young and the aged population to the working age population, or as the ratio of the population which does not participate in the labor force to that which does. But the consumption requirements of dependents may vary with their age. Therefore, variations in the real burden of maintaining a dependent population need not be positively associated with variations in its relative size; for example, when a decrease in the relative number of all dependents is accompanied by an increase in that of the aged.

Furthermore, under the labor-force participation definition of dependency, inter-temperal and international variations are complicated because the population’s average participation rate does not vary only with changes in its age distribution, but with changes in the social norms which regulate working habits.

In this paper, adult-equivalence scales derived from family budget studies were used to make dependents of various ages comparable in terms of the maintenance burden they create. Similarly, constant labor-force participation rates were used to obtain estimates of the size of the population carrying this burden. When thus estimated, international differences in the dependency load are shown to be much smaller than is suggested by the normally used unweighted index.

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