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Real growth

Italy’s demographic situation is becoming increasingly hard. A recently published book explains why and, above all, how to overcome the challenges

 

Italy is one of the countries most affected by the demographic winter worldwide. A significant and critical fact that affects several aspects of social life, as well as economy and production. A country without young people is, indeed, a country without a future – circumstances that, obviously, are not sustainable in the long term. These are the themes – which also concern corporate policies and corporate culture itself – discussed by Alessandro Rosina (full professor of Demography at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan, where he is also head of the Centre for Applied Statistics in Business and Economics) in his latest book: Crisi demografica. Politiche per un paese che ha smesso di crescere (Demographic crisis. Guidelines for a country that has stopped growing). A book that, as the title suggests, it not only a (well-conducted) analysis, but also a kind of handbook on what should be done to overcome this situation.

The author begins by painting a clear picture of what has – and continues to – happen, explaining that if current trends are not reversed, the damage will become irremediable. He points out that the underlying issue is not a decrease in the number of desired children, but less efficient policies benefitting families and the younger generations: a condition that sets Italy apart from other countries struggling with the same problems. Moreover, the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have further complicated and, in some respects, aggravated matters (although the author notes that the root causes of current low birth rates go back to pre-pandemic times). Rosina then proceeds to illustrate how, nowadays, we find ourselves at an inevitable crossroads: on one side there’s a narrow, steep footpath leading to the new phase of economic and social development made possible by European funds (called Next Generation for a reason), and the alternative, if this opportunity won’t be seized, is a broad avenue taking us towards an irreversible and unsustainable decline. What can be done to get things on the right track?  Rosina provides a simultaneously simple yet complex answer: we need much clearer aims and an even greater determination to embark on the right path towards the future.

As Rosina writes, this is something that Italy can accomplish, too, as long as “concrete systemic policies” are implemented – from childcare services to the single universal child benefit allowance, up to sharp reforms in the world of employment – so that the new generations can genuinely feel instrumental to their own development, as well as that of the country.

In the last few pages of his book, the author concludes that, “we do not need to seek some weird and wonderful cure in order to overcome the growing demographic imbalance we are accumulating – our country simply needs to do what needs to be done but more of it and better: put people in a position where they can fulfil, together and successfully, (…) their professional goals and life projects.”

Alessandro Rosina’s book provides a good summary of our state of affairs, and of the possible outcomes of a situation that, nowadays, everyone should be aware of.

Crisi demografica. Politiche per un paese che ha smesso di crescere (Demographic crisis. Guidelines for a country that has stopped growing)

Alessandro Rosina

Vita e Pensieri, 2022

Italy’s demographic situation is becoming increasingly hard. A recently published book explains why and, above all, how to overcome the challenges

 

Italy is one of the countries most affected by the demographic winter worldwide. A significant and critical fact that affects several aspects of social life, as well as economy and production. A country without young people is, indeed, a country without a future – circumstances that, obviously, are not sustainable in the long term. These are the themes – which also concern corporate policies and corporate culture itself – discussed by Alessandro Rosina (full professor of Demography at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan, where he is also head of the Centre for Applied Statistics in Business and Economics) in his latest book: Crisi demografica. Politiche per un paese che ha smesso di crescere (Demographic crisis. Guidelines for a country that has stopped growing). A book that, as the title suggests, it not only a (well-conducted) analysis, but also a kind of handbook on what should be done to overcome this situation.

The author begins by painting a clear picture of what has – and continues to – happen, explaining that if current trends are not reversed, the damage will become irremediable. He points out that the underlying issue is not a decrease in the number of desired children, but less efficient policies benefitting families and the younger generations: a condition that sets Italy apart from other countries struggling with the same problems. Moreover, the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have further complicated and, in some respects, aggravated matters (although the author notes that the root causes of current low birth rates go back to pre-pandemic times). Rosina then proceeds to illustrate how, nowadays, we find ourselves at an inevitable crossroads: on one side there’s a narrow, steep footpath leading to the new phase of economic and social development made possible by European funds (called Next Generation for a reason), and the alternative, if this opportunity won’t be seized, is a broad avenue taking us towards an irreversible and unsustainable decline. What can be done to get things on the right track?  Rosina provides a simultaneously simple yet complex answer: we need much clearer aims and an even greater determination to embark on the right path towards the future.

As Rosina writes, this is something that Italy can accomplish, too, as long as “concrete systemic policies” are implemented – from childcare services to the single universal child benefit allowance, up to sharp reforms in the world of employment – so that the new generations can genuinely feel instrumental to their own development, as well as that of the country.

In the last few pages of his book, the author concludes that, “we do not need to seek some weird and wonderful cure in order to overcome the growing demographic imbalance we are accumulating – our country simply needs to do what needs to be done but more of it and better: put people in a position where they can fulfil, together and successfully, (…) their professional goals and life projects.”

Alessandro Rosina’s book provides a good summary of our state of affairs, and of the possible outcomes of a situation that, nowadays, everyone should be aware of.

Crisi demografica. Politiche per un paese che ha smesso di crescere (Demographic crisis. Guidelines for a country that has stopped growing)

Alessandro Rosina

Vita e Pensieri, 2022