n.32 October 2010

The causes and economic consequences of Germany's declining birth rate.

Russia is getting older but resistance to employing the elderly remains fierce. The overall situation is made worse by a leaky pension system and a massive retired population living close to the poverty line. But instead of seeking ways to overhaul health care and pension plans to keep the over-60 generation busy, Russia continues to focus on raising the national retirement age. As a result, the country deprives itself of a potential generation of consumers and adds to an armada of alienated elderly people forced to work illegally to survive.

The mistreatment and death of several Russian children adopted by U.S.-based parents has focused attention on the weak adoption protocols between Moscow and Washington. Despite high-level rhetoric, the adoption process is still riddled with “supermarket” values and Russia’s threat to freeze U.S. adoptions remains a hollow one.

Economic Outlook