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

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

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.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 94 (1992)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 303-18

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Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:94:y:1992:i:2:p:303-18
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1467-9442

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  1. Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1984. "Taxation and Savings - A Neoclassical Perspective," NBER Working Papers 1302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Summers, Lawrence H, 1981. "Capital Taxation and Accumulation in a Life Cycle Growth Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 533-44, September.
  4. Feldstein, Martin S, 1974. "Social Security, Induced Retirement, and Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(5), pages 905-26, Sept./Oct.
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