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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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Getting started

Previous chapters have introduced the NTA system and given background on the main concepts. Now we turn to the practical matter of how to go about estimating NTA age profiles. This is a very complex and data intensive project, and this chapter outlines the basic steps and gives strategies to organize the work in the most efficient way. We begin with a discussion of the resources necessary for constructing National Transfer Accounts: skilled researchers, an appropriate set of computing tools and a lot of data. Later sections discuss how to organize the data, describe a general strategy for creating each age profile and recommend a sequence to follow in constructing a full set of accounts.

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