Measuring and Analysing the Generational Economy: National Transfer Accounts Manual

The publication 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 presents the concepts, methods and estimation procedures to measure these flows over the life-cycle. The NTA estimates are useful to understand and analyse the implications of changing age structures for the fiscal sustainability of social programs, the accumulation of physical and human capital, economic growth, and familial support for children, youth and older persons.

National Transfer Accounts are consistent with the System of National Accounts (SNA), and provide measures by single years of age of the sources of income (labour, assets, receipt of public and private transfers), and the uses of income (final private and public consumption, transfer payments of individuals to their families and the government, and saving). The manual builds on work carried out for more than a decade by members of the NTA global network, reflected in the book Population Aging and the Generational Economy (Lee and Mason, editors and main authors, 2011).

This manual, produced as part of a UN Development Account project (ROA167), is meant to support capacity development efforts, assisting researchers from countries all over the world to construct National Transfer Accounts, and to interpret and analyse them for relevant policy issues.

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