Economie et Statistique / Economics and Statistics n° 491-492 - 2017Age and generations

Economie et Statistique / Economics and Statistics
Paru le : 01/03/2017

Lifecycle deficit in France: an assessment for the period 1979-2011

Hippolyte d’Albis, Carole Bonnet, Julien Navaux, Jacques Pelletan and François-Charles Wolff
Economie et Statistique / Economics and Statistics
Paru le : 01/03/2017


National Transfer Accounts (NTA) measure the way in which individuals produce, consume, save, and share resources at each age. They make it possible to identify the periods for which private and public consumption (education, healthcare, etc.) is not funded by labour income, before identifying the transfers between the ages that enable such consumption to be funded. This article presents individual age profiles of consumption and labour income in France, as established using that method, and how they changed from 1979 to 2011. The profiles are also calculated at aggregate age level, highlighting the importance of changes in the demographic structures over time. We also reconstruct partial cohort trajectories, thereby providing a generational reading of the changes. In 2011, consumption by old people was higher than consumption by young people, which was not the case in 1979. The rise in consumption at each age, observed generation on generation, slowed down as from the cohort born in 1950. The range of ages at which labour incomes are received has narrowed, while the age at which labour income reaches its highest level has shifted from 36 to 46 over the years. The increase in labour incomes, observed at each age in the generations from 1930 to 1950, seems to have been interrupted momentarily between the 1950 and 1960 generations, at least at the beginning of working life. It resumed in the generations from 1970 onwards, but to a less pronounced extent. In 2011, the ages at which consumption exceeded labour income, corresponding to a deficit, ran from 0 to 24 and from 59 to 82. With the rise in life expectancy in France, the number of years in a deficit situation at high ages has increased considerably, going from 14 to 24 years between 1979 and 2011. Finally, the labour income and consumption profiles for France are very similar to those of the other European countries.

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To cite this article

d'Albis, H., Bonnet, C., Navaux, J., Pelletan, J. & Wolff, F.-C. (2017). Lifecycle deficit in France: an assessment for the period 1979-2011. Economie et Statistique / Economics and Statistics, 491-492, 47-70. DOI: 10.24187/ecostat.2017.491d.1905