NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Who Wins and Who Loses? Public Transfer Accounts for US Generations Born 1850 to 2090

Antoine Bommier, Ronald Lee, Timothy Miller, Stephane Zuber

NBER Working Paper No. 10969
Issued in December 2004
NBER Program(s):   AG   PE

Public transfer programs in industrial nations have massive long term fiscal imbalances, and apparently permit the elderly to benefit through pension and health care programs at the cost of the young and future generations. However, the intergenerational picture is turned upside down when public education is included in generational accounts along with pensions and health care. We calculate the net present value (NPV) of benefits received minus taxes paid for US generations born 1850 to 2090, and find that all generations born from 1950 to 2050 are net gainers, while many of today's old people are net losers. Windfall gains for early generations when Social Security and Medicare started up partially offset windfall losses when public education was started, roughtly consistent with the Becker-Murphy theory.

download in pdf format
   (510 K)

email paper

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

This paper is available as PDF (510 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w10969

Published: Antoine Bommier & Ronald Lee & Tim Miller & St├ęphane Zuber, 2010. "Who Wins and Who Loses? Public Transfer Accounts for US Generations Born 1850 to 2090," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 36(1), pages 1-26.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Mason, Lee, Tung, Lai, and Miller w12770 Population Aging and Intergenerational Transfers: Introducing Age into National Accounts
Edmonds and Pavcnik w10317 International Trade and Child Labor: Cross-Country Evidence
Lee, Lee, and Mason w12379 Charting the Economic Life Cycle
Chu, Chien, and Lee w14185 The Evolutionary Theory of Time Preferences and Intergenerational Transfers
Auerbach and Lee w14682 Welfare and Generational Equity in Sustainable Unfunded Pension Systems
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us