Pro-Elderly Welfare States within Child-Oriented Societies

Journal of European Public Policy, Vol. 25, No. 6, pp. 944-958, 2018, Forthcoming

23 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2017 Last revised: 27 Mar 2018

Robert I. Gal

Hungarian Central Statistical Office (HCSO) - Hungarian Demographic Research Institute (HDRI)

Pieter Vanhuysse

University of Southern Denmark

Lili Vargha

Independent

Date Written: June 1, 2017

Abstract

Families and policies both are main vehicles of intergenerational transfers. Working-age people are net contributors; children and older persons net beneficiaries. However, there is an asymmetry in socialization. Working-age people pay taxes and social security contributions to institutionalize care for older persons as a generation, but invest private resources to raise their own children, often with large social returns. This results in asymmetric statistical visibility. Elderly transfers are near-fully observed in National Accounts; those to children much less. Analysing ten European societies, we employ National Transfer Accounts to include public and private transfers, and National Time Transfer Accounts to value unpaid household labour. All three transfer channels combined, children receive more than twice as many per-capita resources as older persons. Europe is a continent of elderly-oriented welfare states and strongly child-oriented parents. Since children are ever-scarcer public goods in aging societies, why has investment in them not been socialized more?

Keywords: social under-investment; household economy; human capital; children-as-public-goods; intergenerational transfers; parental investment; valuing time; National Transfer Accounts

Suggested Citation

Gal, Robert I. and Vanhuysse, Pieter and Vargha, Lili, Pro-Elderly Welfare States within Child-Oriented Societies (June 1, 2017). Journal of European Public Policy, Vol. 25, No. 6, pp. 944-958, 2018, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2979171 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2979171

Robert I. Gal

Hungarian Central Statistical Office (HCSO) - Hungarian Demographic Research Institute (HDRI) ( email )

H-1024
Buday László utca 1-3
Budapest
Hungary

Pieter Vanhuysse (Contact Author)

University of Southern Denmark ( email )

Campusvej 55
DK 5230 Odense
Denmark

Lili Vargha

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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