Support of children and elderly persons is an important function of many social institutions, including the family and the public transfer system. Population ageing and increasing longevity require adaptions of these institutions as the share of dependent elderly people increases. It is of utmost importance to gain a better understanding of the way intergenerational support can be organised to be sustainable under demographic change without overburdening those who provide the support, and at the same time serve the people in the best possible way.
National Transfer Accounts (NTAs) provide comprehensive information on public and private transfer flows between age groups. Detailed information on global and European NTAs can be found on the global NTA website and the website of the AGENTA project, respectively. However, NTAs include little information regarding the relationship of intergenerational support and wellbeing. How do intergenerational transfers affect the welfare of different groups of the population? Do they target social needs and risks sufficiently? Do they cause economic hardship on the side of the contributors? The AgeWellAccounts (AWA) project tries to fill this gap by evaluating wellbeing with respect to age, life stages and intergenerational support.
Wellbeing from a life course perspective: AgeWellAccounts
For the purpose of analysing wellbeing from a life course perspective, first a dataset will be generated that contains age-specific information on different dimensions of individuals’ wellbeing. This data will be complementing NTAs by providing comprehensive age-specific information on the economic situation of individuals, the way they are using their time, and their subjective wellbeing.
Second, AWA will study how the different dimensions of wellbeing change over the life course and how they differ between countries. For this purpose, researchers will analyse micro-data and also conduct a number of experiments. Their aim is to identify the main determinants that influence wellbeing at each stage of life and to explore the relation between wellbeing and intergenerational support.
The project is structured into three work packages that capture the following dimensions of wellbeing: (1) the economic situation, (2) the use of time, and (3) health, happiness and life satisfaction.
AgeWellAccounts is a joint project by the Vienna Institute of Demography at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Paris School of Economics, and the Department of Methods and Models for Economics at the Sapienza University of Rome. It is funded by the Joint Programming Initiative "More Years, Better Lives – The Potential and Challenges of Demographic Change".