The National Transfer Accounts (NTA) project focuses on the economic impact of changes in population age structure. By providing estimates of income, consumption, saving, and both public and private transfers for specific age groups, NTA adds an important dimension to measures of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and other widely used economic indicators
NTA scholars in 37 countries are collecting data and developing analytical tools to help answer important policy questions:
- How much labor income is earned at different ages?
- How much do people at each age consume?
- How do young and old people, who consume more than they produce, support themselves—do they rely on their families, on taxpayers through government programs, or on assets accumulated during their working years or inherited?
- Are public pension and healthcare programs sustainable, given the growing numbers of old people?
- Will the expansion of elderly populations slow economic growth?
- What are the likely impacts of population aging on inequality?
One of the unique features of the NTA project is the development of a unified framework for studying intergenerational economic issues in widely varying cultural, social, political, economic, and demographic contexts. Apart from basic research and training activities, policy analysis is dissemnated through the NTA Bulletin, presentations to policy audiences, and special reports.
Current work focuses on improving estimates and expanding coverage to additional countries and broader time periods. Methods are also being developed to estimate economic indicators separately for men and women and for specific socioeconomic groups. When complete, NTA will provide estimates with sufficient historical depth to support important insights into changing social patterns and the effects of public policy.
NTA members are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Mozambique, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, and Vietnam.
Project coordinators are Ronald D. Lee at the Center for the Economics and Demography of Aging, University of California at Berkeley, and Andrew Mason at the Population and Health Studies Program, East-West Center. Regional centers are based at Nihon University Population Research Institute in Japan, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean in Chile, the African Economic Research Consortium in Kenya, and the Institute for Future Studies in Sweden.
Support for the project has been provided by the US National Institute on Aging; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada; the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); the European Science Foundation; and a grant to the Nihon University Population Research Institute from the Academic Frontier Project for Private Universities.
Lee, Ronald, and Andrew Mason, lead authors and editors. 2011. Population aging and the generational economy: A global perspective. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.
Lee, Ronald, and Andrew Mason. 2011. The price of maturity. Finance and Development 48(2): 6–11.
Lee, Ronald, and Andrew Mason. 2011. Generational economics in a changing world. In Ronald Lee and David Reher, eds. Demographic transition and its consequences. Population and Development Review 37(S1): 115–42.
Mason, Andrew, Sang-Hyop Lee, and Ronald Lee. 2010. Will demographic change undermine Asia’s growth prospects? In Masahiro Kawai, Jong-Wha Lee, and Peter Petri, eds. Asian regionalism in the world economy: Engine for dynamism and stability. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 70–121.
East-West Center staff
Andrew Mason, Senior Fellow; Professor of Economics, University of Hawaii
Sang-Hyop Lee, Adjunct Fellow; Associate Professor of Economics, University of Hawaii
Melinda Podor, Project Assistant
Diana Stojanovic, Project Assistant
Sidney B. Westley, Communications Specialist
Principal collaborating scholars
Ronald D. Lee, Edward G. and Nancy S. Jordan Endowed Chair in Economics; Professor of Demography; and Director, Center on the Economics and Demography of Aging, University of California at Berkeley
Gretchen Donehower, Academic Specialist/Researcher, Center on the Economics and Demography of Aging, University of California at Berkeley
Thomas Lindh, Researcher, Institutet för Framtidsstudier, Stockholm, Sweden
Naohiro Ogawa, Director, Nihon University Population Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan
Paolo Saad, Population Officer, Centro Latinoamericano y Caribeño de Demografía (CELADE), Santiago Chile
Tim Miller, Population Affairs Officer, Centro Latinoamericano y Caribeño de Demografía (CELADE), Santiago Chile
Adedoyin Soyibo, Professor, Department of Economics, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Germano Mwiga Mwabu, Professor, Department of Economics, University of Nairobi, Kenya
Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz, Research Group Leader, Population Economics, and Deputy Director, Vienna Institute of Demography, Austria