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Older Persons in Southeast Asia

An Emerging Asset

Evi Nurvidya Arifin and Aris Ananta

Publication Year: 2009

The rapid Asian fertility transitions of the last few decades will lead to population ageing in the coming decades in one country after another. Societies can choose how they will respond to the rising share of the elderly, but there is no choice about the inevitable demographic trend. In this important volume, ably edited by Evi Nurvidya Arifin and Aris Ananta, demographers, economists, sociologists, and anthropologists analyse the implications of population ageing for family and community welfare and public policy. Most importantly, the authors emphasize the opportunities, as well as the costs of population ageing. Older persons have always been a source of unpaid family labour, and with changes in public perceptions, many healthy and productive elderly can make significant contributions to the broader community and society. --Professor Charles Hirschman, Professor of Sociology, University of Washington

Published by: ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute

Title Page, Copyright Page

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Table of Contents

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List of Tables

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pp. ix-xiii

List of Figures

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pp. xv-xviii

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Foreword by Hal Hill

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pp. xix-xxiii

The editors and contributors to this volume are to be congratulated for a topical, fascinating and broad-ranging study of ageing in Southeast Asia. The authors raise many thought-provoking, indeed worrying, issues. But the subtitle could just as well have been something like “the challenge of...

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Message from the Director

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pp. xxv

With their growing importance in both developing and developed countries, issues relating to the ageing population in Southeast Asia continue to be one of the major research interests of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS). One of the primary concerns is how to...

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pp. xxvii-xxviii

In the twenty-first century, the ageing population has become a global phenomenon. Its economic, social, and political impacts are apparent in almost all countries. Worldwide, the proportion of population aged sixty and over is growing faster than any other age groups. Looking towards...


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pp. xxix-xxxi

Part I: Introduction

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1. Older Persons in Southeast Asia: From Liability to Asset

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pp. 3-46

Ipan (not a real name), in his forties, was caught in a complex dilemma. He had an offer of a more promising job in Samarinda, the capital city of the province of East Kalimantan, Indonesia, than his job in Bandung, the capital city of the province of West Java. He had been living with his wife...

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2. Future Ageing in Southeast Asia: Demographic Trends, Human Capital, and Health Status

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pp. 47-67

This chapter will try to draw a bigger picture about the likely future changes in age distribution in the countries of Southeast Asia, and highlight some key dimensions of the expected population ageing. It will focus on the demographic core of population ageing and also cover the changing...

Part II: Old-Age Income Security

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3. Economics and Old Age: The Singapore Experience

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pp. 71-96

The indicators in Singapore are good. The infant mortality rate was 2.6 per 1,000 live births in 2007. It had been 8.0 in 1980, and 82.0 in 1950. In the United States the rate was 7.0, in Sweden and Japan 3.0, in China 23.0, and in India 62.0. Life expectancy at birth was 77.9 for males, 81.8 for...

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4. National Long-Term-Care Severe Disability Insurance in Singapore

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pp. 97-115

To appreciate the issues involved in a long-term-care disability insurance (LTCDI) scheme, one must first understand the nature of disability in older persons: its epidemiology, the natural progression, and prevention. These issues will be discussed in the first part of this chapter, followed up...

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5. Social Security and Health Care Financing for Older Persons in Thailand: New Challenges

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pp. 116-139

Rapid mortality decline and the resulting higher life expectancy in many countries occur because of progress in medical technologies and improved health facilities, services and sanitation. Coupled with the concurrent rapid fertility decline, the fast decline in death rate has resulted in ageing...

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6. An Exploration of a Universal Non-contributory Pension Scheme in Vietnam

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pp. 140-164

Rapid declines in fertility rates and mortality rates along with substantial improvements in health care systems have resulted in the growth of the number of older persons around the world, and this trend is expected to continue in the coming years. With the definition of an older person as one...

Part III: Employment and Other Sources of Financial Contribution

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7. Employment of Older Persons: Diversity across Nations and Subnations in Southeast Asia

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pp. 167-217

Promoting an increase in labour force participation of older persons has been high on the agenda of countries facing ageing population. It is seen as a means to deal with the issue of how to finance old age within a limited or unsustainable pension fund. As noted in Hermalin et al. (2002), working...

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8. Work, Income, and Expenditure: Elderly and Near-elderly Women in Metro Cebu, Philippines

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pp. 218-243

Unlike most countries in East Asia and some of its Southeast Asian neighbours, the Philippines has not been confronted yet with the immediate problems of a rapidly ageing population. Because fertility decline has been slow and the demographic transition has been a protracted experience...

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9. Employability Approach to Financing Old Age

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pp. 244-269

Globalization has generated many controversies because it affects different countries differently. Even for countries that benefit significantly from globalization, some industries will gain and others will suffer. This is because under globalization the more efficient sectors — the export sectors...

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10. Facing the Geriatric Wave in Indonesia: Financial Conditions and Social Support

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pp. 270-298

Population ageing has been considered one of humanity’s greatest triumphs and challenges, resulting from a success of various aspects of development such as public health, family planning, social transformation, as well as economic and political developments. Rapidly increasing longevity...

Part IV: Ageing, Migration, and Development

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11. The Nexus of Ageing and Migration in Singapore

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pp. 301-313

Numerous scholars have studied the demographic ageing process of countries in Southeast Asia (Hermalin 2002; Knodel 2005; Teo et al. 2006; Mehta 2006; Kreager and Schroder-Butterfill 2004; Liu and Kendig 2000; Yoon and Hendricks 2006), but very few have examined the nexus...

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12. Overseas Labour Migration and Well-being of Older Filipinos

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pp. 314-334

Filipinos are remarkably dispersed worldwide. This is the result of a long history of international labour migration which has been underway for several decades now. Filipino workers started finding their way to the sugar plantations of Hawaii as early as the 1920s (Morada 2001). The...

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13. Urbanization and the Ageing Community in Sarawak, Malaysia

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pp. 335-358

Beginning in the 1970s, urbanization in Sarawak has been developing at an unprecedented pace. While the resultant socio-economic transformation impacting on the lives of different groups and communities has continued to be a fertile site of study (Abdul Majid Mat Salleh et al. 1990; Abdul...

Part V: Roles of Government and Civil Society

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14. Ageing, Finance, and Civil Society: Notes for an Agenda

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pp. 361-391

At the turn of the twentieth century, social and political movements under the banner of civil society had become widely recognized forces of public debate and policy reform in many parts of the world. “Civil society” refers broadly to institutional activities, largely or entirely...

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15. Evaluation and Implementation of Ageing-related Policies in Indonesia

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pp. 392-414

The existence of older persons among the population of the Indonesian archipelago, proclaimed by Soekarno and Hatta to be independent on 17 August 1945, has become increasingly more important. The Republic of Indonesia consists of more than 10,000 large and small islands and about...


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pp. 415-425

E-ISBN-13: 9789812309457
Print-ISBN-13: 9789812309440

Page Count: 425
Publication Year: 2009

Edition: 1

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Aging -- Government policy -- Southeast Asia -- Congresses.
  • Older people -- Southeast Asia -- Economic conditions -- Congresses.
  • Older people -- Southeast Asia -- Social conditions -- Congresses.
  • Older people -- Medical care -- Southeast Asia -- Congresses.
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