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National Transfer Accounts Manual

Measuring and Analysing the Generational Economy

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National Transfer Accounts (NTA) provides a coherent accounting framework of economic flows from one age group or generation to another, typically for a national population in a given calendar year. This manual consolidates and presents in a systematic fashion the concepts, the methods and estimation procedures to measure these flows of resources across age. The NTA estimates are useful to understand and analyse inter-generational economic flows, and the implications of changing population age structures for the fiscal sustainability of social programs, the accumulation of physical and human capital, macroeconomic growth, and familial support for children, youth and older persons.

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Compiling the NTA through SNA

The main NTA concepts are closely related to the SNA (System of National Accounts2); this refers especially to the SNA concepts of final consumption; labour income, including compensation of employees and mixed income, current transfers, property income and operating surplus; and, of course, saving. Specialized NTA concepts such as the life cycle deficit and surplus, the transfer deficit and surplus, and asset-based reallocations can be defined in terms of SNA concepts. It is therefore suggested in this appendix that the NTA be compiled as an NTA satellite to SNA, using SNA concepts and NTA adjustments to those, and following SNA compilation procedures. This is alternative to the approach suggested in the main part of the manual, in which NTA concepts are measured directly, without interference of SNA compilation procedures. How this NTA compilation through SNA takes place is the purpose of the present appendix.

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