PRB Webinar: Mapping Research Approaches to the Demographic Dividend

The demographic dividend offers a powerful argument linking population dynamics and economic development. This topic has attracted a wide variety of researchers and international development organizations and has recently gained traction among global policy audiences. However, research approaches to the demographic dividend are varied and a greater integration of the methodological approaches may be warranted. Current research approaches vary widely in:

  • Implicit definition of dividends (from narrow to broad).
  • Mechanisms implied (from mechanical to substantive influences).
  • Analytical strategies (notably the extent to which they attend to questions of internal, external, and ecological validity, and their appeal to academic vs. policy audiences).

In this webinar, Marlene Lee, program director of Academic Research and Relations at the Population Reference Bureau, introduced the concept of a demographic dividend. Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue, professor in Development Sociology and Demography at Cornell University, outlined different research approaches to the demographic dividend. Eloundou-Enyegue shared how each approach addresses key criteria, and thus how it is likely to appeal to academic researchers versus practitioners. He presented a new framework for better understanding the range of methodological approaches to this topic using the criteria of the scale of analysis (individual vs. country) and main target audience (academics vs. policymakers).

Their discussion was followed by Q&A.

This webinar was hosted by the Population Reference Bureau, with funding from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.