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Generational Accounts, Aggregate Savings, and Intergenerational Distribution

  • Willem H. Buiter

Are generational accounts informative about the effect of the budget on the intergenerational distribution of resources and on aggregate saving? First, the usefulness of generational accounts lives or dies with the strict life-cycle model of household consumption. Second, even if the life-cycle model holds, generational accounts ignore the intergenerational redistribution associated with the government’s provision of public goods and services and with intergenerational externalities. Third, generational accounting ignores the effect of the budget on tax and transfer bases and on before-tax incomes and prices. That is, it does not handle incidence or general equilibrium repercussions.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 96/76.

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Length: 32
Date of creation: 01 Jul 1996
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:96/76
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  1. 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. 7(1), pages 17-41, December.
  2. Alan J. Auerbach & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1991. "Generational accounting: a new approach for understanding the effects of fiscal policy on saving," Working Paper 9107, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  3. 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.
  4. Yotsuzuka, Toshiki, 1987. "Ricardian equivalence in the presence of capital market imperfections," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 411-436, September.
  5. Fumio Hayashi, 1985. "Tests for Liquidity Constraints: A Critical Survey," NBER Working Papers 1720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Eric O'N. Fisher & YoungSoo Woo, 1994. "A New Meaure of the Korean Current Account," International Finance 9411001, EconWPA.
  7. Willem H. Buiter & K.M. Kletzer, 1994. "Ponzi Finance, Government Solvency and the Redundancy or Usefulness of Public Debt," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1070, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  8. Willem H. Buiter, 1990. "Principles of Budgetary and Financial Policy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262524139, June.
  9. Eaton, Jonathan & Gersovitz, Mark, 1981. "Debt with Potential Repudiation: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309, April.
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