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Generational Accounting in New Zealand: Is There Generational Balance?

  • Alan Auerbach
  • Bruce Baker
  • Laurence Kotlikoff
  • Jan Walliser

This paper uses a recently-developed technique, calledgenerational accounting, to assess New Zealand's long-term fiscalposition. Generational accounting has become a popular alternativeto traditional deficit accounting, because it provides a moreaccurate picture of the intergenerational distribution of fiscalburdens and the associated macroeconomic effects, particularlyin the presence of demographic transitions and large unfundedpublic transfer programs. Past studies have suggested the existenceof significant generational imbalances in several countries. We find that behind New Zealand's projectedbudget surpluses, there is indeed a sound fiscal picture. Evenunder the base case scenario, which entails substantial short-runtax reductions, the burden on future generations (relative toincome) is projected to fall slightly below that on current newborns.New Zealand appears to have avoided the large fiscal imbalancesplaguing the United States and other OECD countries not by placinglarge tax burdens on young current generations, but by limitingthe size of its commitments. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1008694405416
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Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 4 (1997)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 201-228

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:4:y:1997:i:2:p:201-228
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  1. 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.
  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. 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 303-18.
  4. Alan J. Auerbach & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1994. "Generational Accounting: A Meaningful Way to Evaluate Fiscal Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 73-94, Winter.
  5. Alan J. Auerbach & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1995. "Restoring generational balance in U.S. fiscal policy: what will it take?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q I, pages 2-12.
  6. Auerbach, A.J. & Gokhale, J. & Kotlitkoff, L.J. & Steigum, E.Jr., 1994. "Generational Accounting in Norway: Is Norway Overconsuming Its Petroleum Wealth," Papers 24, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  7. Laurence Kotlikoff, 1993. "From deficit delusion to the Fiscal Balance Rule: Looking for an economically meaningful way to assess fiscal policy," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 17-41, December.
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