Abstract for: Societal Aging in the Netherlands: Exploratory System Dynamics Modeling and Analysis

Mismanagement of societal aging is an important threat to health care systems, social security systems, and the economy of many nations. A System Dynamics simulation model related to societal aging in the Netherlands and its implications for the Dutch welfare system is used here as a scenario generator for Exploratory System Dynamics Modeling and Analysis - a System Dynamics-based approach for exploring and analysing deeply uncertain dynamically complex issues and testing policy robustness many plausible futures. Key concerns derived from this exploratory research are (i) the existence of plausible futures with severe labour scarcity, especially in health care, (ii) unsustainable evolutions of health care costs, and (iii) insufficient labour productivity, especially in health care. Our analysis shows that labour productivity may be cause of and cure for many of the undesirable evolutions. We conclude that (i) sufficient increases in labour productivity in health care as well as labour productivity in general without pinching the necessary workers in care are needed, and (ii) sufficiently raising the retirement age only helps if both the willingness to work longer and the willingness to keep older employees increase. These conclusions are derived from systematic data analysis which is fully documented in the appendix.