Programs and Data

A Matlab Generational Accounting Program

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The following compressed files contain the generational accounting program. Generational accounting was developed by Alan Auerbach, Jagadeesh Gokhale, and Laurence Kotlikoff as an alternative to deficit accounting in assessing the long term impact on different cohorts from current fiscal policy. (see Auerbach, Alan J., Jagadeesh Gokhale, and Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1991, "Generational Accounts: A Meaningful Alternative to Deficit Accounting," in D. Bradford, ed., Tax Policy and the Economy, vol. 5, Cambridge, MIT Press, 55-110). The program can be used to estimate the sustainability of a country's current fiscal policy, and how changing that policy will affect generations differently.

Unzipping one of the downloads will reveal the program file, the data files, and the documentation (in Microsoft WORD). The versions here are designed to be run with MATLAB, version 5.1 or greater. Alternatively, the user could modify the source code to be run via another program (e.g. GAUSS, FORTRAN, C++, ...).

The first download,, includes data for the U.S., which can be used to replicate the results found in Gokhale, Jagadeesh, Benjamin R. Page, and John R. Sturrock, 1999, "Generational Accounting for the United States: An Update," in A. Auerbach et al, eds., Generational Accounting Around the World. Another version in the download contains a modified approach to allocating remaining net tax burdens to current and future generations (discussed in the documentation). Both versions were designed to be easily adaptable to other countries, and flexible to handle alternative scenarios that the user may wish to consider.

The second download,, includes data for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd+ generation immigrants. The program will replicate the results in Auerbach, Alan J. and Philip Oreopoulos, 1999, "Generational Accounting and Immigration in the United States," mimeo.


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Last modified: April 23, 2015