2.1.3 Student Responses and Feedback

Challenges and Opportunities

This page runs through example exam questions, model exam responses and exam responses graded against the assessment guidance. It includes downloadable student responses and assessment guidance for Population Change and the 2.1.3 Challenges and Opportunities

Syllabus - Challenges and Opportunities

Global and regional/continental trends in family size, sex ratios, and ageing/greying

Policies associated with managing population change, focusing on:

  • policies related to ageing societies
  • pro-natalist or anti-natalist policies
  • gender equality policies and anti-trafficking policies

The demographic dividend and the ways in which population could be considered a resource when contemplating possible futures

  • One case study of a country benefiting from a demographic dividend

Synthesis, evaluation and skills opportunities

How population change may affect the power balance between groups of people at local, national and international scales

Exam Questions, Responses and Feedback

Explain two policies that governments can adopt when experiencing an aging population (2+2)

Student Responses PDF

Student Response 1

Policy 1: Aging populations place a stress on government spending and coincide with shrinking active populations. In order to reduce the burden of expenditure on state pensions governments adopt a number of policies, including later retirement age and incentivising savings for pensions and flexible work/retirement schemes that reduce the coats of pensions schemes by either reducing the years on pension or reducing the value of pension incomes.

Policy 2: An aging population increases pressures on Health care, A&E and social care services due increased numbers with health problems. Governments need to either increase taxation or reduce spending on other services such as education to increase spending on these age relates services. An alternative is to provide more co-housing schemes for the elderly where neighbourhood communities carry some of the burden of social care.

Student Response 2

Policy 1: Aging populations require governments to increase spending on health care and social care for the elderly as there is a greater demand for these services

Policy 2: Later retirement ages delay pensions and save the government and tax payers

Student Response 3

Policy 1: One policy governments can adopt is to encourage immigration into the country. Germany adopted this strategy during the migration crisis of 2017/2018. By welcoming its borders to over a million foreign migrants they boosted their active population. Immigrants tend to have larger family size, which will increase rates of population growth and spending available for the needs of the elderly.

Policy 2: Another policy is to boost birthrates in order to increase population growth. This can be achieved through providing cash incentives, through direct payments, family allowances, and tax reductions. This strategy is used across European countries.

 

Teacher Feedback:

1 mark should be awarded for each outlined policy (2)Award a second mark for the development of detailed explanation of the policy (2)

Student Response 1

Policy 1: Aging populations place a stress on government spending and coincide with shrinking active populations. In order to reduce the burden of expenditure on state pensions governments adopt a number of policies, including later retirement age and incentivising savings for pensions and flexible work/retirement schemes that reduce the costs of pension schemes, by either reducing the years on pension or reducing the value of pension incomes.

Policy 2: An aging population increases pressures on Health care, A&E and social care services due increased numbers with health problems. Governments need to either increase taxation or reduce spending on other services such as education to increase spending on these age relates services. An alternative is to provide more co-housing schemes for the elderly where neighbourhood communities carry some of the burden of social care.

(4/4) Award 2 marks for two correct polices, later retirement alongside flexible work/retirement schemes and secondly increase in taxation and shift if spending towards to health and social care. These two points are well contextualized and explained

Student Response 2

Policy 1: Aging populations require governments to increase spending on health care and social care for the elderly as there is a greater demand for these services

Policy 2: Later retirement ages delay pensions and save the government and tax payers

2/4 This response provides two types of policies, increased spending on heath and social care as well as later retirement ages. However these polices are not place in context or explained in length.

Student Response 3

Policy 1: One policy governments can adopt is to encourage immigration into the country. Germany adopted this strategy during the migration crisis of 2017/2018. By welcoming its borders to over a million foreign migrants they boosted their active population. Immigrants tend to have larger family size, which will increase rates of population growth and spending available for the needs of the elderly.

Policy 2: Another policy is to boost birth rates in order to increase population growth. This can be achieved through providing cash incentives, through direct payments, family allowances, and tax reductions. This strategy is used across European countries.

4/4 This response attains full marks. 2 Marks for two correct policies, immigration and pro-natalist polices such as family allowances and tax reductions. These two policies are well contextualized and explained in length

Explain two reasons why a government might choose to adopt a pro-natalist or anti-natalist policy (2+2)

Student Responses PDF

Student Response 1

Reason 1: Governments sometimes choose an anti-natalist policy to slow down birth rate to reduce family size  to more sustainable numbers. Bangladesh achieved this as part of development of maternal health through education, increased maternal health check and improved access to health care

Reason 2: China has  long history of anti-natalist policies. It created its one-child policy now two-child policy to reduce rates of population growth and to lower its projected population size. This was done to manage its resource base with population

Student Response 2

Reason 1: Some countries like Belgium incentivise birth rates to help maintain the size of the active population. With shrinking birth rates the active population is projected to shrink and this means lower government budgets.

Reason 2: Some countries promote pro-natalist policies to encourage family life as a cultural/national value and to encourage people to have children. Family life is seen as a valuable service to society and that through passing on  family values there is a wider service to the morel health of society.

Student Response 3

Reason 1: Some countries adopt a pro-natalist polices e.g. Britain to encourage increased birth rates and family size, which in turn increases the youthfulness of the population

Reason 2: Other countries adopt anti-natalist polices to discourage birth rates and reduce family size., with the aim of slowing down population growth

Teacher Feedback:

One mark awarded for each correct reason (2). Two further marks for developing clear explanation of the reason (2)

Student Response 1

Reason 1: Governments sometimes choose an anti-natalist policy to slow down birth rate to reduce family size to more sustainable numbers. Bangladesh achieved this as part of development of maternal health through education, increased maternal health check and improved access to health care

Reason 2: China has long history of anti-natalist policies. It created its one-child policy now two-child policy to reduce rates of population growth and to lower its projected population size. This was done to manage its resource base with population.

4/4 This response provides two clear reasons for anti-natal policies (2), reducing family size and national rates of population growth. These two reason are well contextualized and and explained (2).

Student Response 2

Reason 1: Some countries like Belgium incentivise birth rates to help maintain the size of the active population. With shrinking birth rates the active population is projected to shrink and this means lower government budgets.

Reason 2: Some countries promote pro-natalist policies to encourage family life as a cultural/national value and to encourage people to have children. Family life is seen as a valuable service to society and that through passing on  family values there is a wider service to the morel health of society.

4/4 This reason provides two good reasons, boosting the active population and the unusual reason of cultural value of families (2). Both these reasons are well contextualized and explained (2).

Student Response 3

Reason 1: Some countries adopt a pro-natalist polices e.g. Britain to encourage increased birth rates and family size, which in turn increases the youthfulness of the population.

Reason 2: Other countries adopt anti-natalist polices to discourage birth rates and reduce family size, with the aim of slowing down population growth.

2/4 This response chooses to provide one pro-natlist and one anti-natalist reason. This is acceptable. The response provides two reasons but the although some context is provided there is very little in the way of explanation.

Explain two policies a government might adopt to promote gender equality (2+2)

Student Responses PDF

Student Response 1

Policy 1: A government might choose a policy of positive discrimination towards women and legislate that educational institutions, organizations and companies are required to provide equal opportunity to women. The mechanism for this may be a quota for women in terms of providing access educational places or positions of responsibilities. This may be achieved by allowing more flexible career paths  that add value to maternal leave etc.

Policy 2: A government may have a policy that requires employers of a certain size and status in society to publish its pay gap between men and women as well as publish its staffing ration between men and women at different levels of responsibility. This way unfair pay gaps can be identified and through transparency employers are forced to provide equal pay in the work place.

Student Response 2

Policy 1: A government may promote the SDGs that have a goal focused on gender equality. This might be based around providing equal opportunities for women to work

Policy 2: A government  may adopt a policy that promotes girls access to school. This can be done by educating parents on the importance of sending girls to school and prioritizing there education as equal status as girls

Student Response 3

Policy 1: Women are often held back in society due to unequal rights, access to education and laws that favour men. A country might introduce stronger legislation that protects women from unfavourable situations. Examples include right to land tenure, which secures women's rights to own land and to have independence. This helps protect women who are divorced or widowed.

Policy 2: Many laws discriminate against and unfairly blame women in context of relationships. By strengthening infidelity laws women can be protected from unfair treatment in society. Other laws might introduce stricter punishments for crimes of sexual abuse and sexual intimidation. This would enable women to lead more open and secure lives enabling greater development.

Teacher Feedback:

Award 1 mark for each correct reason (2) and a further two marks for developing the explanation (2)

Student Response 1

Policy 1: A government might choose a policy of positive discrimination towards women and legislate that educational institutions, organizations and companies are required to provide equal opportunity to women. The mechanism for this may be a quota for women in terms of providing access educational places or positions of responsibilities. This may be achieved by allowing more flexible career paths  that add value to maternal leave etc.

Policy 2: A government may have a policy that requires employers of a certain size and status in society to publish its pay gap between men and women as well as publish its staffing ration between men and women at different levels of responsibility. This way unfair pay gaps can be identified and through transparency employers are forced to provide equal pay in the work place.

4/4 This response provides two good reasons, legislated positive discrimination and transparency in terms of work and pay conditions (2). The response fully explain these policies in terms of the gender equality benefits (2)

Student Response 2

Policy 1: A government may promote the SDGs that have a goal focused on gender equality. This might be based around providing equal opportunities for women to work

Policy 2: A government may adopt a policy that promotes girls access to school. This can be done by educating parents on the importance of sending girls to school and prioritizing there education as equal status as girls.

2/4 This response provides two policies(2) but they lack clarity and the explanation is not fully developed.

Student Response 3

Policy 1: Women are often held back in society due to unequal rights, access to education and laws that favour men. A country might introduce stronger legislation that protects women from unfavourable situations. Examples include right to land tenure, which secures women's rights to own land and to have independence. This helps protect women who are divorced or widowed.

Policy 2: Many laws discriminate against and unfairly blame women in context of relationships. By strengthening infidelity laws women can be protected from unfair treatment in society. Other laws might introduce stricter punishments for crimes of sexual abuse and sexual intimidation. This would enable women to lead more open and secure lives enabling greater development.

4/4 This response provides two good reasons, both in the context of stricter legislation, the first develops land tenure and the second deals with infidelity and sex crime (2) These policies are well contextualized and explained (2).

Explain two polices a government might adopt to manage the problem of human trafficking (2+2)

Student Responses PDF

Student Response 1

Policy 1: One policy a country can adopt is to make human trafficking illegal. Harsher punishments and prison sentences can deter traffickers

Policy 2: A second policy could be to work more closely with other countries so that police forces based in different countries share information better

Student Response 2

Policy 1: One policy such as that adopted by the Scottish Government is to increase awareness of the general public on how to recognizes people who have been trafficked. They produce general information brochures on the types of trafficked people and the recognizable circumstances they find themselves in.

Policy 2: Another policy is to improve human trafficking support for the victims. In the UK the Modern Slavery Act 2015 includes strong legislation to support victims. Examples includes rights to legal assistance as well clear guidance on how to care and support for victims

Student Response 3

Policy 1: Within the EU countries have harmonized more than 40 laws on human trafficking, to better prevent human trafficking and protect the victims. On such effort was the FLEX Project between Finland, Estonia and Poland. This strengthened legal provision and victim identification.

Policy 2: The EU member countries have held shared police training, focused on how to deal and manage victims who are minors. Some actions include legalizing the ability not to prosecute trafficked people when they have committed crimes as a victim of human trafficking

Teacher Feedback:

Award one mark for each correct policy (2) and a further two marks for developing detailed explanation of the policy (2)

Student Response 1

Policy 1: One policy a country can adopt is to make human trafficking illegal. Harsher punishments and prison sentences can deter traffickers

Policy 2: A second policy could be to work more closely with other countries so that police forces based in different countries share information better

1/4 The first policy is correct but discounted because human trafficking is already illegal. The explanation is limited in depth and context. The second policy of working more closely with other countries is relevant (1) but the explanation and context full short in context and explanation

Student Response 2

Policy 1: One policy such as that adopted by the Scottish Government is to increase awareness of the general public on how to recognizes people who have been trafficked. They produce general information brochures on the types of trafficked people and the recognizable circumstances they find themselves in.

Policy 2: Another policy is to improve human trafficking support for the victims. In the UK the Modern Slavery Act 2015 includes strong legislation to support victims. Examples includes rights to legal assistance as well clear guidance on how to care and support for victims

4/4 This response attains full marks. The response provides two correct policies, education of general public and support for victims of human trafficking (2). It then provides full explanation as well as place context for policies against human trafficking (2).

Student Response 3

Policy 1: Within the EU countries have harmonized more than 40 laws on human trafficking, to better prevent human trafficking and protect the victims. On such effort was the FLEX Project between Finland, Estonia and Poland. This strengthened legal provision and victim identification.

Policy 2: The EU member countries have held shared police training, focused on how to deal and manage victims who are minors. Some actions include legalizing the ability not to prosecute trafficked people when they have committed crimes as a victim of human trafficking.

3/4 There are two policies developed here, harmonizing laws on human trafficking and shared police training for support for minors. The former is well developed, explained and contextualized. The latter is contextualized but only describes and so doesn't address the command word.

State the meaning of a demographic dividend  and explain two conditions required for a country to benefit from a demographic dividend (2+2+2)

Student Responses PDF

Student Response 1

A demographic dividend refers to the economic growth that can be achieved in its population due to a change its demographic structure

Condition 1: One condition needed in a country is a large youthful population, meaning a large active population that can create economic growth.

Condition 2: A second condition is a relatively smaller burden of dependency from its aging society. Typically, these countries have a small window where life expectancy remains relatively low and economic gain can be made.

Student Response 2

A demographic dividend refers to the growth in an economy that is the resultant effect of a change in the age structure of a country's population. The change in age structure is typically brought on by a decline in fertility and mortality rates

Condition 1: A youthful population

Condition 2: A stable and transparent government

Student Response 3

Condition 1: A young population is needed to provide a boost to the economy. This large population leads to economic growth

Condition 2: The aging population is slow to occur so the government has extra money that can be invested in education.

Teacher Feedback:

2 marks awarded for a correct definition of demographic dividend (2), One mark awarded for each correct condition (2) and two further marks for developing the explanation of the condition (2)

Student Response 1

A demographic dividend refers to the economic growth that can be achieved in its population due to a change its demographic structure

Condition 1: One condition needed in a country is a large youthful population, meaning a large active population that can create economic growth.

Condition 2: A second condition is a relatively smaller burden of dependency from its aging society. Typically, these countries have a small window where life expectancy remains relatively low and economic gain can be made.

5/6 The definition lacks precision and so attains 1 mark.(1/2)The two conditions stated are correct, a large youthful population and small aging group (2). The explanation is concise but well developed and clear. (2)

Student Response 2

A demographic dividend refers to the growth in an economy that is the resultant effect of a change in the age structure of a country's population. The change in age structure is typically brought on by a decline in fertility and mortality rates

Condition 1: A youthful population

Condition 2: A stable and transparent government

4/6 This response provides an excellent definition (2) and states two correct conditions, (2) There is no explanation of these conditions however. (0)

Student Response 3

Condition 1: A young population is needed to provide a boost to the economy. This large population leads to economic growth

Condition 2: The aging population is slow to occur so the government has extra money that can be invested in education.

2/6 This response provides no definition (0)The response hints at two correct reasons, a young population and a small aging population (2) However these conditions are not explained in any depth (0)

Explain how one country is benefiting from a demographic dividend (6)

Student Responses PDF

Student Response 1

South Korea has benefited from a demographic dividend in many ways, including economic growth, investment in health and education as well as measured improvement in government stability. In 1970 the economic output of South Korea was $1400 billion lower than today. There has been a $40 billion increase in exports. This is largely due to its demographic restructuring. Its active population today stands at 73% compared to 55% in 1970. In 1950, child mortality was 350 compared to just 3 today. This demographic restructuring has led to important economic growth which has led to huge investment in education and health. The number of physicians per 1000 quadrupling and with more than 30% of South Koreans going on to tertiary education. In addition, South Korea's corruption index and government stability index. Without such improvements in good governance it could be argued that the dividend would be much lower.

Student Response 2

South Korea has benefited from a demographic dividend. Through boosting its child survival rates, the youthful population increased meaning a larger active population. This led the government to make huge improvements in its GDP and invested heavily in education as well as health care. With improved GDP, trade improved and government spending increased. Today the country is full developed with low fertility rates and a high quality of education.

Teacher Feedback:

This response needs to develop a detailed account of how one country has benefited from a demographic dividend. It should state the name of a relevant country and provide evidence of the change in population structure (2) The response should then evidence two or more benefits of its demographic dividend. Award 1 mark for each correct benefit up to 3 marks. Award further marks for further development.  Therefore marks can be awarded as  2+3+1 or 2+2+2.

Student Response 1

South Korea has benefited from a demographic dividend in many ways, including economic growth, investment in health and education as well as measured improvement in government stability. In 1970 the economic output of South Korea was $1400 billion lower than today. There has been a $40 billion increase in exports. This is largely due to its demographic restructuring. Its active population today stands at 73% compared to 55% in 1970. In 1950, child mortality was 350 compared to just 3 today. This demographic restructuring has led to important economic growth which has led to huge investment in education and health. The number of physicians per 1000 quadrupling and with more than 30% of South Koreans going on to tertiary education. In addition, South Korea's corruption index and government stability index. Without such improvements in good governance it could be argued that the dividend would be much lower.

6/6 This response states South Korea and develops clear evidence of population structure change (2). The response also states a number of developed benefits, including increased economic output, improved investment in education and health and reduction in corruption. Each benefit is evidenced with case study specific data. (2+2)

Student Response 2

South Korea has benefited from a demographic dividend. Through boosting its child survival rates, the youthful population increased meaning a larger active population. This led the government to make huge improvements in its GDP and invested heavily in education as well as health care. With improved GDP, trade improved and government spending increased. Today the country is full developed with low fertility rates and a high quality of education.

4/6 This response states a relevant country that has experienced a demographic dividend and states the change in its population structure, however clear evidence is not provided (1). It then states three clear benefits, including investment in education and health care as well as increased GDP and government spending and lower fertility rates. The problem with this response is the lack of evidence. If we substitute South Korea ofr any other similar country then the response remains the same. Case study evidence does not come through.

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