Population aging, old age support systems, and wealth: cross-national comparisons
Ronald Lee, University of California, Berkeley
Andrew Mason, University of Hawaii at Manoa
The need to provide for old age generates a demand for wealth which depends on age patterns of planned consumption and retirement. Depending on institutions and cultural values, wealth can be held either as assets or as transfer wealth, reflecting either public transfers (pensions, health care, long term care) or private (familial old age support). National Transfer Accounts (NTA) provide data for about twenty countries permitting a comparative analysis of both the flows of old age support in a given year, and the stocks of wealth to which they give rise, broken down by kind of wealth. Patterns by region and by level of development will be described, as will implications for the macro economic consequences of population aging.