Nothing is more important for Europe’s future than the question of whether the continent will be able to solve its demographic crisis and if so how. If we fail to find an adequate solution, Europe will not have a future, and in that case being able to solve all the other problems will not matter very much. You may think demography is not an economic problem.
Well, I maintain it is, and I will try to convince you that this topic is, indeed, appropriate for a Tinbergen Lecture. I am very grateful to the Royal Netherlands Economic Association for inviting me to give this lecture and share my ideas with you. Ever since my student days I have been impressed by Tinbergen, whose theo- ries were highly valued by my teachers. I would not have dreamt that I would, one day, be invited to give a lecture in his honour.