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Generational Accounting versus Computable General Equilibrium

  • Volker Börstinghaus
  • Georg Hirte

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.

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Article provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal FinanzArchiv.

Volume (Year): 58 (2001)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 227-

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Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(200207)58:3_227:gavcge_2.0.tx_2-q
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.mohr.de/fa

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  1. Homburg, Stefan, 1997. "Old-age Pension Systems: A Theoretical Evaluation," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 233-246.
  2. Hirte, Georg, 2001. "Pension Policies for an Aging Society," Beiträge zur Finanzwissenschaft, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, edition 1, volume 14, number urn:isbn:9783161475399, May.
  3. Homburg, Stefan, 1990. "The Efficiency of Unfunded Pension Schemes," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 640-647.
  4. 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, 02.
  5. Alan J. Auerbach & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1991. "Generational Accounts - A Meaningful Alternative to Deficit Accounting," NBER Working Papers 3589, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Volker Börstinghaus & Georg Hirte, 2001. "Generational Accounting versus Computable General Equilibrium," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 58(3), pages 227-, July.
  7. 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.
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