The Demographic Metabolism Model of Human Capital Formation

  • Erich StriessnigEmail author


This chapter transforms the age-old wisdom that societies change through generational replacement into a formalized model that allows for quantitative forecasts of such societal changes for decades into the future. Using the term “Demographic Metabolism” introduced by Ryder, we show how the blend of this concept with the methods of multi-dimensional population dynamics results in a sophisticated model with strong predictive power. We evaluate this model empirically revisiting its application to forecasting future population distributions by age, sex, and level of educational attainment and investigate the implications of different scenarios in terms of future vulnerability to climate change, as well as the development outlook in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


Demographic metabolism Cohort replacement Human capital formation Forecasting Social transformation 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU)ViennaAustria

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