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Qu W.,Millennium Institute | Morris H.,Planning Institute of Jamaica | Shilling J.,Millennium Institute
International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning | Year: 2011

In formulating its long-term (2006-2030) national sustainable development plan, the Government of Jamaica chose the Threshold 21 (T21) model as an analytical tool to integrate economic, social, and environmental sectors in order to better comprehend the interactions among critical factors so they could: (1) better analyze the challenges Jamaica faces, (2) understand the medium and long-term consequences of alternative policy choices across all three sectors, and (3) determine the optimal combination of policies to achieve their strategic goals. Major challenges confronting Jamaica include slow GDP growth, lack of technical innovation, high unemployment, HIV/AIDS, crime, energy dependence, and natural disasters. The model shows how adopting a combination of policies including supporting education and infrastructure, providing micro credit to the poor, reducing crime and HIV infection, investing in promising new products, and attracting more remittances and foreign direct investment, would lead to a future, that is, possible and that is notably better than the business as usual scenario. Two other scenarios are also considered that address: (1) simpler social improvement policies in education, health, and welfare and (2) the impacts of natural disasters and the possible increase in the price of oil. Comparisons among scenarios are made in economic, social, and environmental areas, which include GDP, government revenues, demographic trends, unemployment, poverty, adult literacy rate, HIV adult prevalence rate, land use, water demand and pollution, and energy consumption (which is the major source of greenhouse gas emissions in Jamaica). They demonstrate how purely social policies are much less effective, even in the social sectors over the longer time horizon than the good strategy which enables more overall growth. The Government of Jamaica is currently using the model to support broad participation from both state and non-state stakeholders to reach consensus. T21 will also be used to monitor and evaluate progress in achieving the goals. © 2011 WIT Press. Source

Lee R.,University of California at Berkeley | Mason A.,University of Hawaii at Manoa | Mason A.,East-West Center | Amporfu E.,Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science And Technology | And 48 more authors.
Science | Year: 2014

Longer lives and fertility far below the replacement level of 2.1 births per woman are leading to rapid population aging in many countries. Many observers are concerned that aging will adversely affect public finances and standards of living. Analysis of newly available National Transfer Accounts data for 40 countries shows that fertility well above replacement would typically be most beneficial for government budgets. However, fertility near replacement would be most beneficial for standards of living when the analysis includes the effects of age structure on families as well as governments. And fertility below replacement would maximize per capita consumption when the cost of providing capital for a growing labor force is taken into account. Although low fertility will indeed challenge government programs and very low fertility undermines living standards, we find that moderately low fertility and population decline favor the broader material standard of living. Copyright 2014 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science; all rights reserved. Source

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