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Generational Accounting in New Zealand: Is There Generational Balance?

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

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

  • Alan Auerbach & Bruce Baker & Laurence Kotlikoff & Jan Walliser, 1997. "Generational Accounting in New Zealand: Is There Generational Balance?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 4(2), pages 201-228, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:4:y:1997:i:2:p:201-228
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1008694405416
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Auerbach, A.J. & Gokhale, J. & Kotlikoff, L.J. & Steigum, E.Jr., 1993. "Generational Accounting in Norway: Is Norway Overconsuming its Petroleum Wealth?," Papers 06-93, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
    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 303-318.
    4. Alan J. Auerbach & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1992. "Social Security and Medicare Policy from the Perspective of Generational Accounting," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 6, pages 129-145 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    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. 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.
    7. Regina Villela Malvar & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Willi Leibfritz, 1999. "Generational Accounting in Brazil," NBER Chapters,in: Generational Accounting around the World, pages 177-198 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. 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.
    9. Kotlikoff, Laurence J., 2002. "Generational policy," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 27, pages 1873-1932 Elsevier.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Nicola Sartor, 2001. "The Long-run Effects of the Italian Pension Reforms," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(1), pages 83-111, January.
    2. Karin Mayr, 2004. "The fiscal impact of immigrants in Austria--a generational accounting analysis," Economics working papers 2004-09, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    3. Bruce Baker & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Willi Leibfritz, 1999. "Generational Accounting in New Zealand," NBER Chapters,in: Generational Accounting around the World, pages 347-368 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Alan J. Auerbach & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Willi Leibfritz, 1999. "The Methodology of Generational Accounting," NBER Chapters,in: Generational Accounting around the World, pages 31-42 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Ross Guest & John Bryant & Grant Scobie, 2003. "Population Ageing In New Zealand: Implications for Living Standards and the Optimal Rate of Saving," Treasury Working Paper Series 03/10, New Zealand Treasury.
    6. Polackova, Hana, 1997. "Population aging and financing of government liabilities in New Zealand," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1703, The World Bank.

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