Public seminar: Who pays for population ageing?
About the seminar
Welcome to a public seminar at Lund University School of Economics and Management! This seminar presents results from the EU-funded AGENTA project, which aims to explain the past and forecast the future of taxes, public transfers and services in light of demographic change in the EU (www.agenta-project.eu). It relies on the innovative methodology of National Transfer Accounts (NTAs), which offers the possibility to study the economic life cycle at aggregate levels.
Sign up by May 5
The seminar will be followed by an informal reception. Please notify Madeleine Jarl at madeleine.jarl [at] ed.lu.se if you plan to attend the seminar and the reception by May 5.
Professor Ronald D Lee, University of Berkeley, founder of the NTA project
Professor Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz, Vienna Institute of Demography, head of AGENTA
Professor Tommy Bengtsson, Centre for Economic Demography and Department of Economic History, Lund University
PhD Haodong Qi, Centre for Economic Demography and Department of Economic History, Lund University
Chair: Professor Fredrik Andersson, Dean of Lund University School of Economics and Management
Population ageing in Europe has significant economic consequences. The needs and social situations of individuals vary strongly by age, for example with regard to work, consumption or taxes paid. Children and older people consume more resources than they produce through their own labour, while working-age adults produce more than they consume.
This economic life cycle can be financed by public transfers (e.g. schooling, healthcare and pensions), private transfers (e.g. parents financing children’s consumption) and asset reallocation (e.g. savings). Changes in the age distribution in a society also change the composition of this intergenerational transfer system. Therefore, the design of the transfer system determines whether population ageing leads to an expansion of public transfers, private transfers or asset reallocation.
A better understanding of this reallocation of resources across age and of the relation between age and economic activities is necessary to guide any welfare system reform in the face of population ageing.
- Economic consequences of population ageing are not just determined by demographic change, but to a large extent by the characteristics of the economic life cycle.
- The concept of the life cycle deficit provides a new way to measure dependency based on the difference between age-specific consumption and production.
- Maintaining the fiscal sustainability of the public transfer systems in many European countries requires a rethinking of the average economic life cycle.
- Political reforms need to take into account not only public transfers, but also private transfers, particularly those in the form of services to other household members through unpaid work.