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Fiscal sustainability indicators and policy design in the face of ageing

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  • Geert Langenus

    (National Bank of Belgium, Research Department)

Abstract

Mainly due to increasing concerns about the potential impact of population ageing the sustainability of public finances has become one of the key issues in fiscal assessments. This paper briefly reviews the different theoretical benchmarks and empirical tests for sustainability and assesses the sustainability of public finances in euro area countries on the basis of the latest projections of the Ageing Working Group of the EU Economic Policy Committee. Two alternative operational indicators for fiscal sustainability are proposed and appropriate policy options to restore fiscal sustainability are explored for three individual euro area countries. Pre-funding strategies that create the budgetary room that is needed to finance ageing costs in advance require important consolidation efforts for most euro area countries and can imply aiming at significant budgetary surpluses in the coming years for some. However, a simplified technical exercise assessing the evolution of the fiscal burden of the average worker shows that such strategies generally imply a more even distribution of the fiscal burden across generations than more gradual adjustment strategies.

Suggested Citation

  • Geert Langenus, 2006. "Fiscal sustainability indicators and policy design in the face of ageing," Working Paper Research 102, National Bank of Belgium.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbb:reswpp:200610-1
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    2. Intan Syahrini & Yusri Hazmi & Raja Masbar & Aliasuddin & Said Munzir, 2021. "Optimal Control Dynamic Relationships and Fiscal Policies in Indonesia’s Economy," International Journal of Economics & Business Administration (IJEBA), International Journal of Economics & Business Administration (IJEBA), vol. 0(1), pages 34-51.
    3. Rossana Merola & Douglas Sutherland, 2013. "Fiscal Consolidation and the Implications of Social Spending for Long-Term Fiscal Sustainability," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 4(3).
    4. Kateřina GAWTHORPE, 2022. "Population ageing and sustainable fiscal policy in Czechia," Eastern Journal of European Studies, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 13, pages 81-105, June.
    5. Paul Ekins & Stefan Speck, 2014. "The fiscal implications of climate change and policy responses," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 355-374, March.
    6. W. Melyn & L. Van Meensel & S. Van Parys, 2016. "The sustainability of public finances in the context of population ageing," Economic Review, National Bank of Belgium, issue iii, pages 87-103, December.
    7. Jakob Korbinian Eberl, 2016. "The Collateral Framework of the Eurosystem and Its Fiscal Implications," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 69.
    8. Markus Knell & Walpurga Köhler-Töglhofer & Doris Prammer, 2006. "The Austrian Pension System – How Recent Reforms Have Changed Fiscal Sustainability and Pension Benefits," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue Q2/06, pages 69-93.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    population ageing; fiscal sustainability; medium-term objectives for fiscal policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General

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