Generational Accounts, Aggregate Saving and Intergenerational Distribution
Are generational accounts informative about the effect of the budget on the intergenerational distribution of resources and (when augmented with generation-specific propensities to consume out of life-time resources) on aggregate consumption and saving? The paper makes three points. First, the usefulness of generational accounts lives or dies with the strict life-cycle model of household consumption. Voluntary intergenerational gifts or liquidity constraints may therefore adversely affect or even destroy their informativeness. Second, even when the life-cycle model holds, generational accounts only measure the effect of the budget on the lifetime consumption of private goods and services. They ignore the intergenerational (re-)distribution associated with the government's provision of public goods and services. Third, generational accounting ignores the effect of the budget on before-tax and before-transfer quantities and prices, including before-tax and -transfer distribution of life-time resources across generations and intertemporal relative prices. That is, it does not handle incidence or general equilibrium repercussions very well. Although useful, generational accounts should therefore carry the label 'handle with great care.'
|Date of creation:||Apr 1995|
|Publication status:||published as Economica, Vol.64 (1997), pp. 605-626.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- 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.
- Yotsuzuka, Toshiki, 1987. "Ricardian equivalence in the presence of capital market imperfections," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 411-436, September.
- Jonathan Eaton & Mark Gersovitz, 1981. "Debt with Potential Repudiation: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309.
- Willem H. Buiter, 1990. "Principles of Budgetary and Financial Policy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262524139, January.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. 58(1), pages 17-41, December.
- Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1989. "From Deficit Delusion to the Fiscal Balance Rule: Looking For an Economically Meaningful Way to Assess Fiscal Policy," NBER Working Papers 2841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Fumio Hayashi, 1985. "Tests for Liquidity Constraints: A Critical Survey," NBER Working Papers 1720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Richard A. Musgrave & Karl E. Case & Herman Leonard, 1974. "The Distribution of Fiscal Burdens and Benefits," Public Finance Review, , vol. 2(3), pages 259-311, July.
- Eric O'N. Fisher & YoungSoo Woo, 1994. "A New Meaure of the Korean Current Account," International Finance 9411001, EconWPA. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5087. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.