United Nations builds on IDRC-funded research to track how age shapes the economy

Book cover National Transfer Accounts Manual
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
United Nations
United Nations
226 pages

The United Nations has recently issued the National Transfer Accounts manual: Measuring and analysing the generational economy, in cooperation with National Transfer Accounts (NTA) members. The manual, produced as part of a United Nations Development Account project (ROA 167), is designed to support capacity-development efforts, assisting researchers from countries all over the world to construct National Transfer Accounts and to interpret and analyze them as a guide to policy.

Over the past 60 years, population age structures have been changing everywhere in the world. As the proportion of populations of working ages has grown relative to that of dependent children, many of the world’s fastest-growing economies have enjoyed a substantial demographic dividend, helping to accelerate economic growth.

Developing countries are at the early stages of this demographic transition. The timing and magnitude of each country’s demographic dividend depend on demographic and economic factors and the policies that influence them.

NTA estimates are useful for understanding and analyzing the implications of changing age structures for the sustainability of social programs, the accumulation of physical and human capital, the pace of economic growth, and the viability of familial support systems for children, youth, and the elderly.

Building on work carried out for more than a decade by members of the NTA global network, the new manual presents the concepts, methods, and estimation procedures for measuring financial flows over lifecycles. Work under the NTA project is also reflected in the book Population aging and the generational economy (Lee and Mason, editors and main authors), co-published in 2011 by Edward Elgar and IDRC.

Download a copy of National Transfer Accounts manual: Measuring and analysing the generational economy

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