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Generational Accounting versus Computable General Equilibrium

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  • Volker Börstinghaus
  • Georg Hirte

Abstract

Generational Accounting is only a shortcut to a general equilibrium analysis because it is assumed that individual decisions are unaffected by policy reforms. Nonetheless only two studies examine the accuracy of Generational Accounting, but Fehr and Kotlikoff (1996) consider changes in individual decisions and current tax adaptations to balance the Budget. Thus their approach is inappropriate as a means to compare both methods as they are used in reality. Raffelhüschen and Risa (1997) use a very simple model and simulate very stylized policy changes. So we need to carry out a new examination. Our examples are the recent fiscal reforms in Germany which encompass an income tax reform and a pension reform. The findings are that Generational Accounting is a bad shortcut for the incidence of the income tax reform, but gives a good impression of the quality and sign of the incidence for all but the younger cohorts in the case of the pension reform, and that the Fehr and Kotlikoff approach is misleading.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(200207)58:3_227:gavcge_2.0.tx_2-q
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Diamond, Peter, 1996. "Generational Accounts and Generational Balance: An Assessment," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 49(4), pages 597-607, December.
    2. Homburg, Stefan, 1997. "Old-age Pension Systems: A Theoretical Evaluation," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 233-246.
    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. Homburg, Stefan, 1990. "The Efficiency of Unfunded Pension Schemes," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 640-647.
    5. Georg Hirte, 2002. "Welfare and Macroeconomic Effects of the German Pension Acts of 1992 and 1999: A Dynamic CGE Study," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 3(1), pages 81-106, February.
    6. 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.
    7. Hirte, Georg, 2001. "Pension Policies for an Aging Society," Beiträge zur Finanzwissenschaft, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, edition 1, volume 14, number urn:isbn:9783161475399.
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    Cited by:

    1. Holger Bonin & Concepció Patxot & Guadalupe Souto, 2014. "Cyclically‐Neutral Generational Accounting," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 35, pages 117-137, June.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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