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Australia under the microscope: New data offers insight into our production and consumption behaviour

Young family at home

Australian National Transfer Account (NTA) data is available for the first time on the National Transfer Accounts website which provides access to data being produced by more than sixty countries.

Constructed by CEPAR Chief Investigator Professor Peter McDonald, CEPAR Associate Professor Jeromey Temple, from the University of Melbourne, and James Rice, from the ANU, the Australian NTAs for 2003-04 and 2009-10 were made available to the public last week.

Their purpose is to show how various resources, both time and money, flow between age cohorts. The data quantify how people at each age acquire and use economic resources to meet their current material needs, to share with others, and to provide for the future. Importantly they offer the ability to study the evolution of intergenerational transfer systems and the consequences of alternative approaches to age reallocations embodied in public policy with respect to pensions, health care, education and social institutions.