International Tax and Public Finance

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 442–461 | Cite as

Measuring the balance of government intervention on forward and backward family transfers using NTA estimates: the modified Lee arrows

  • Concepció Patxot
  • Elisenda RenteríaEmail author
  • Miguel Sánchez Romero
  • Guadalupe Souto


In this paper we propose a way to measure the degree of government intervention on forward—from parents to children—and backward—from adult children to elderly parents—intergenerational family transfers (IFT). We carry out a discussion about the possibility of using Generational Accounts (GA) and National Transfer Accounts (NTA) methodologies to generate indicators that could measure government intervention on both sides of IFT. As a result, we propose a modification of arrow diagrams used by Lee (in J. Human Res. 29:1027–1063, 1994b). An illustration of the results in the Spanish case indicates that the degree of government intervention on backward IFT is above that on forward IFT. This could be one of the main reasons to explain the Spanish low fertility rate.


National transfers accounts Generational accounting Fiscal policy Spain Population ageing 





National Transfers Accounts


Generational Accounts


Intra Family transfers


Over Lapping Generation


Life Cycle Deficit


Public Transfers


Private Transfers


Asset Based Reallocations


System of National Accounts


Gross Domestic Product

JEL Classification

H68 H53 J180 



This research received institutional support from the Spanish Science and Technology System (Projects No. ECO2009-10003 and ECO2008-04997/ECON), the Catalan Government Science network (Projects No. SGR2009-600 and SGR2009-359 as well as from XREPP—Xarxa de Referência en Economia e Polítiques Públiques) and the Fulbright Commission (reference number 2007-0445).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Concepció Patxot
    • 1
  • Elisenda Rentería
    • 2
    Email author
  • Miguel Sánchez Romero
    • 3
  • Guadalupe Souto
    • 4
  1. 1.Universitat de Barcelona and Instituto de Estudios FiscalesBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Universitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Max Planck Institute for Demographic ResearchRostockGermany
  4. 4.Universitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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