Andrew Scott: ‘We have to invest much more in our future selves’ (FT)

It isn’t easy to grow old gracefully — as many ageing countries are beginning to find out. In France, people have taken to the streets to protest against a rise in the state pension age. In Germany, the government is pushing through a major liberalisation of its immigration system because employers are “desperate” for staff and the country will “lack 7mn workers by 2035 if we don’t do something”, as the labour minister has put it. Meanwhile, rating agencies are warning that ageing populations are hitting public finances across the world. But Andrew Scott, a professor of economics at London Business School, thinks his profession can be too gloomy about ageing. What matters, he says, is not how long people live, but how well they age, and that is something which can be changed. Much of his career was focused on monetary and fiscal policy before he became fascinated by demography and co-authored with Lynda Gratton the book The 100-Year Life in 2016. He will publish a new book on longevity next year. In this interview, he discusses how governments and individuals can best navigate a world in which people are living longer lives, from questions over the state pension age to health policy, falling birth rates, flexible work and a four-day week.

Financial Times of London, Article: