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Cyclically‐Neutral Generational Accounting

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Listed:
  • Holger Bonin
  • Concepció Patxot
  • Guadalupe Souto

Abstract

This paper introduces a methodological innovation into Generational Accounting. By incorporating cyclically-adjusted balances into the forward-looking budget projections underlying the concept we isolate pure policy effects, which render comparisons of the fiscal sustainability indicators obtained across time and countries truly meaningful. We also show that a demographic effect and a debt effect may bias fiscal sustainability measures over time, and establish a routine to control for these effects in the generational accounting framework. An empirical application for Spain illustrates that our proposed decomposition of indicators is empirically relevant. Standard generational accounting suggests that fiscal sustainability in Spain improved substantially in preparing for EMU. However, calculation of the pure policy effects reveals that this has not been the case.
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Suggested Citation

  • Holger Bonin & Concepció Patxot & Guadalupe Souto, 2014. "Cyclically‐Neutral Generational Accounting," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 35, pages 117-137, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:35:y:2014:i::p:117-137
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nathalie Girouard & Christophe André, 2005. "Measuring Cyclically-adjusted Budget Balances for OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 434, OECD Publishing.
    2. Holger Bonin & Joan Gil & Concepció Patxot, 2001. "Beyond the Toledo agreement: the intergenerational impact of the Spanish Pension Reform," Spanish Economic Review, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 111-130.
    3. Volker Börstinghaus & Georg Hirte, 2001. "Generational Accounting versus Computable General Equilibrium," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 58(3), pages 227-227, July.
    4. Raffelhuschen, Bernd & Risa, Alf Erling, 1997. "Generational Accounting and Intergenerational Welfare," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 93(1-2), pages 149-163, October.
    5. Paul van den Noord, 2000. "The Size and Role of Automatic Fiscal Stabilizers in the 1990s and Beyond," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 230, OECD Publishing.
    6. Balassone, F. & Cunha, J. & Langenus, G. & Manzke, B. & Pavot, J. & Prammer, D. & Tommasino, P., 2008. "Fiscal sustainability and policy implications for the euro area," Working papers 225, Banque de France.
    7. Gemma Abío & Eduard Berenguer & Holger Bonin & Joan Gil & Concepció Patxot, 2003. "Is the deficit under control? A generational accounting perspective on fiscal policy and labour market trends in Spain," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 27(2), pages 309-341, May.
    8. Benz Ulrich & Hagist Christian, 2008. "Konjunktur und Generationenbilanz – eine Analyse anhand des HP-Filters / Business Cycle Effects on Generational Accounting – An Analysis using the HP-Filter," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 228(4), pages 299-316, August.
    9. Concepció Patxot & Elisenda Rentería & Miguel Romero & Guadalupe Souto, 2012. "Measuring the balance of government intervention on forward and backward family transfers using NTA estimates: the modified Lee arrows," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 19(3), pages 442-461, June.
    10. Rafflhuschen, B. & Risa, A.E., 1997. "Generational Accounting and intergenerational Welfare," Norway; Department of Economics, University of Bergen 164, Department of Economics, University of Bergen.
    11. Auerbach, Alan J., 1997. "Quantifying the Current U.S. Fiscal Imbalance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 50(3), pages 387-398, September.
    12. Alan J. Auerbach & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Willi Leibfritz, 1999. "Generational Accounting around the World," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number auer99-1.
    13. Alan J. Auerbach & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Willi Leibfritz, 1999. "Introduction to "Generational Accounting around the World"," NBER Chapters,in: Generational Accounting around the World, pages 1-8 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

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