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Tuesday, March 26, 2019
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The Fiscal Burden of the Young and the Elderly
Description:

In order to attach a fiscal meaning to population aging, the authors of SIPP’s 37th Public Policy Paper developed indicators that incorporate the fiscal impact of changes in the age composition of the population within a given fiscal structure. Authors Joe Ruggeri, Yang Zou and Yan Zhang, in the entitled "The Fiscal Burden of the Young and the Elderly" released today, conclude that the results show that the population dependency ratio does not represent a meaningful guide to fiscal policy. According to their calculations and assumptions, the “[dependency] ratio underestimated the fiscal pressures from population aging during most of the period from 1989 to 1995 and overestimated them in the following six years.” (The ratios are intended to give an indication of the economic burden that the “supporting” portion of the population carries in a particular period of time).

The authors assert that “generalizations about fiscal pressures and fiscal sustainability are unwarranted” and they worry what the outcomes will be if this pattern of thinking continues. As an alternative, they propose a method based on the allocation of government revenues and expenditures to different age groups.

Author(s)

Joe Ruggeri, Yang Zou and Yan Zhang


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