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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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A macro inventory

This section asks researchers to think about their country’s macro economy in general terms, before beginning the detailed work of constructing age profiles. By thinking about the macro controls and the institutional and cultural arrangements surrounding them, researchers will be able to focus on the most important aspects of the economy when they begin to calculate age profiles. The questions that constitute the macro inventory are answered below for the United States. A spreadsheet template of these questions is available at www.ntaccounts.org.

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