Effects of Population Crash

I'm working on a TL which is actually ASB, but has an event which could arise in non-ASB situations.

So in 1956, something happens which causes the population to fall drastically. Could be a disease affecting fertility levels say, or something infectious like the post WW1 flu epidemic which persists for a long time. By the 1970s the UK population has fallen to around 40m instead of being about 55m as it actually was. After that the population starts to pick up again. A similar situation applies world wide, with some areas even worse affected. (There are some ASB elements too which I haven't included here.)

What sort of economic effects might this cause?
 
Once the population of the world is done crashing, expect the remaining people to hav encore upward mobility. A lot of people who died will likely have been important, so many jobs that need replacing will go to up-and-coming people. Furthermore, with populations beginning to rise again, expect more optimism and investment. People who deal with children - and who have them - will be valued immensely. We may even see another baby boom in the ensuing decade.

I would say it would have the upturned optimism of the 50s but with a stern undertone of remembering what got them in a dark place in the first place. And the generation that grew up with it would be like the Depression children times a thousand.
 
If the government insists on paying the retired their pensions, then the country is screwed. Massive spending cuts and tax hikes on the young will be necessary to pay them. But if the government just abandons the elderly then it could be a good thing for the country because the labour shortage will cause wages to rise and housing prices will plummet.
 
Retired? It depends on the population structure afterwards. Some diseases killed the old and the weak first, but some did the opposite (the Spanish flu IIRC).
 
A decline of about 1m a year sounds a lot but it is actually a lower death rate than the Spanish Flu (which yes in the second phase seems to have had most effect on young and healthy people). So I don't expect the same sort of reaction as there was to that or even to the aftermath of WW1. It might not even be noticed for the first year, at least by the community at large, although I'm sure the medical profession will start noticing. In the ATL I have in mind the decline is more insidious and probably masked by the ASB elements. (This is the Changes TL in my sig.)

I just have the feeling though that the loss of output it would lead to might not be so critical as it seems if the whole world is seeing similar levels of decline, because the markets for production are also declining. It isn't like an economic depression or slump which leaves unmet demands.

Doing some research on the economic impact of the Spanish Flu I found several papers which I have yet to read including this one
Economic Effects of the1918 Influenza Pandemic: Implications for a Modern-day Pandemic
https://www.stlouisfed.org/~/media/Files/PDFs/Community-Development/Research-Reports/pandemic_flu_report.pdf?la=en
 
If the government insists on paying the retired their pensions, then the country is screwed. Massive spending cuts and tax hikes on the young will be necessary to pay them. But if the government just abandons the elderly then it could be a good thing for the country because the labour shortage will cause wages to rise and housing prices will plummet.
Start with if it started in 1956, I was born in September of that year I may or may not be here, however at that point Social Security was running a surplus and just presuming that the population loss was equally across the board it shouldn't be a very big problem also while demand is down wages will probably go up a little bit simply because the entire Workforce does not work in an area that is population sensitive. If it example would be defensive spending you could lose 20% of the population and probably not save anyting or very little on spending. Plus based on why the population in what portion of the population age income excetera is hit the hardest you might end up having new jobs created like Medical and Mortuary. And one thing you can't leave out of the equation is the mid 50's there were still a lot of jobs that were manual labor that now have equipment with operators doing the work of 5 or more people. I think it's a great idea for a timeline I can't wait to read it
 
This thread has been discussing possible epidemics. But I wonder what the effect of not achieving the Green Revolution would have been. And/or not developing modern vaccines to reduce the high mortality rate from childhood diseases.
 
Perhaps another version of Spanish Flu caused by the mingling of post-war refugees' strains of the common types...

FWIW, there some serious mortality spikes in UK due to persistent Winter smogs engulfing the coal-fired cities. IIRC, these 'Pea Soupers' culminated in some absolute horrors during the 60s which finally prompted 'smokeless fuel' progress.
 
I know what the cause is, that was the POD for the timeline. My best guess is that by 2015, which is the point from which events from 1956 onwards are being observed, the economy would technically be at about 1980s levels, but it wouldn't be as the 1980s was. The people are not the same because of the 'event' and that in turn means different priorities for scientific effort. I'm still trying to work out the details before I write more. I don't think it will be a timeline as such though.

I chose 1956 because that was the year of Suez and the Soviet invasion of Hungary, which adds some nice complicating factors.

The pints about the Green Revolution and childhood vaccines are good ones to add to the mix.
 

Cook

Banned
Perhaps another version of Spanish Flu caused by the mingling of post-war refugees' strains of the common types...
The vast majority of flu strains come from ducks, where the virus resides in the bowel.
 
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