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Keywords:

  • generational accounting;
  • redistribution
  • H23;
  • H50;
  • H62

Abstract

Conventional generational accounting only includes future benefits and burdens from the government. This paper's contribution is to include past benefits and burdens as well, and in this way to provide a full lifetime account of how much current and future generations benefit from government, in net terms, under various future policy lines. The calculations are carried out for the Netherlands and for the cohorts born since 1946. The more complete picture may be helpful for political decision-making on equitable intergenerational policies. A second contribution of this paper is that it uses a more comprehensive benefit concept than other such backward-looking studies by including non-cash benefits as well. The results point out that there are substantial differences in net lifetime benefits between generations and these are mainly driven by non-cash benefits such as education and healthcare, on which expenditure increased substantially after 1946.