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Intergenerational transfers in industrialised countries

Effects of age distribution and economic institutions


Estimates of the direction of net intergenerational transfers for Britain and Japan indicate that they are from younger to older generations. The estimates are similar to those for the USA by Lee and Lapkoff (1988). In the absence of capital dilution effects, because of these transfers, higher fertility would increase lifetime consumption in these countries. The strength of the transfer effect is somewhat higher for Japan than Britain or the USA, primarily because of longer life expectancy among the Japanese.

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I am grateful for the help of Professor Naohiro Ogawa and his colleagues at the Nihon University Population Research Institute (NUPRI), who were instrumental in compiling the data for Japan used in the calculations in the paper, which was partly written while I was a visiting research fellow at NUPRI. They are not, however, responsible for the use I have made of the data and their help.

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Ermisch, J. Intergenerational transfers in industrialised countries. J Popul Econ 1, 269–284 (1989).

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  • Life Expectancy
  • Industrialise Country
  • High Fertility
  • Transfer Effect
  • Dilution Effect