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Generational Accounting: A New Approach to Understanding the Effects of Fiscal Policy on Saving

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  • Auerbach, Alan J
  • Gokhale, Jagadeesh
  • Kotlikoff, Laurence J

Abstract

An alternative to deficit accounting is proposed for understanding the government's treatment of current and future generations. The alternative, called generational accounting, is based on the government's intertemporal budget constraint. Generational accounting is used to describe the redistributive and saving impacts of four alternative policies. The findings indicate that the fiscal deficit is thoroughly unreliable as a measure of either generational policy or the policy-induced stimulus to aggregate demand. The findings also suggest that fiscal policies that redistribute across generations can have important effects on national saving rates. Copyright 1992 by The editors of the Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Auerbach, Alan J & Gokhale, Jagadeesh & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1992. " Generational Accounting: A New Approach to Understanding the Effects of Fiscal Policy on Saving," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(2), pages 303-318.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:94:y:1992:i:2:p:303-18
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1984. "Taxation and Savings: A Neoclassical Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 1576-1629.
    2. Summers, Lawrence H, 1981. "Capital Taxation and Accumulation in a Life Cycle Growth Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 533-544.
    3. Alan J. Auerbach & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1991. "Generational Accounts: A Meaningful Alternative to Deficit Accounting," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 5, pages 55-110 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Willi Leibfritz, 1999. "From Deficit Delusion to the Fiscal Balance Rule: Looking for an Economically Meaningful Way to Assess Fiscal Policy," NBER Chapters,in: Generational Accounting around the World, pages 9-30 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Feldstein, Martin S, 1974. "Social Security, Induced Retirement, and Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(5), pages 905-926, Sept./Oct.
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