Are the elderly a cost factor for society or its safety net? A comparison of family regimes and National Transfer Accounts data in Germany and Japan
Various works have argued that ageing societies’ increasing dependency ratios provoke generational conflict over scarce financial resources. In post-industrial economies, younger cohorts face disadvantages in the labour market and regarding the generosity of the welfare state compared to previous generations. However, there has also been the tendency to alleviate these imbalances through informal inter-generational family transfers. Comparing Japan and Germany – two of the fastest aging societies worldwide – this presentation investigates whether and to what extent the family can serve as a bulwark against potential generational conflict.
With regard to demographic and household-financial dynamics and policy responses, the presentation will compare differences in the capacity of families to serve as an inter-generational safety net.