The aim of the EU-funded AGENTA project (www.agenta-project.eu) is to study the means by which children and the elderly population draw on resources from the working-age population, considering both public and private support, and to project future public transfers in the face of population ageing.
The AGENTA project relies on the methodology developed in the National Transfer Accounts (NTA). NTA measures how much income each age group generates through labour and through capital ownership, how income is redistributed across age groups through public and private transfers and how each age group uses its disposable resources for consumption and saving. Public intergenerational transfers consist mainly of pensions, health care, long-term-care and education, while private intergenerational transfers are mainly from parents to their children.
Since most of the intergenerational transfers are provided by the working-age population, there is clearly a trade-off between transfers to children, transfers to the elderly population, consumption by the working-age population themselves, and saving for future consumption. The challenge for the public welfare systems is the adjustment to ageing populations that ensures a decent level of well-being for elderly persons without overburdening the working-age population. Therefore, data on the relation between age and economic activity and a thorough understanding of the reallocation of resources across age groups are key for guiding any welfare system reform in the face of population ageing.
For more details please see the project website: www.agenta-project.eu