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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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The generational economy: Foundations and applications

The National Transfer Account (NTA) system was developed to improve our understanding of the age or generational dimension of economies at the national or subnational level. Conventional economic accounts and summary measures do not allow us to analyse how people at different stages of the life cycle are influenced by economic events, demographic change or public policy. This is a serious gap in the statistical systems of developing countries where spending on the education and health of youth may be critical to achieving more robust economic growth, for example. It is also a serious gap for developed economies that are faced with rapid population ageing, rising pension and health-care costs, and slower economic growth.

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