Centre for Economic Studies in Social Insurance


This paper focuses on the problems involved in developing cross-country comparisons of the intergenerational stance of fiscal policy. Of course, these comparisons are nowadays based on the method of generational accounting and in particular most of them rely on comparing the total size of intertemporal public liabilities (IPLs). I first utilize the machinery of generational accounting in order to calculate the composition of the countries` IPLs, that is the sum of explicit and implicit liabilities embedded in the respective fiscal policies for several European countries and the United States. The findings suggest that the ranking in a cross-country comparison is very sensitive to a) the legal settings concerning social transfer adjustment over time, b) the degree to which unreliable or time-inconsistent reforms are taken into account, c) the respective countries` business cycle status in the base-year. The second aim of this paper is to outline recent and future applications of generational accounting.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Raffelhschen2001CentreFE, title={Centre for Economic Studies in Social Insurance}, author={Bernd Raffelh{\"{u}schen and Alan J. Auerbach and Jagadeesh Gokhale}, year={2001} }