Children, Adults and the Elderly in the Great Recession: An Economic Atlas by Age

Gretchen Donehower, University of California, Berkeley

The United States is still in the midst of the worst economic climate since the Great Depression. Impacts have not been uniform across demographic groups, however, with important differences by age. While there is much research already about the age impacts of the Great Recession, it largely focuses on a particular age group and a particular aspect of economic life. To get a complete understanding of the generational nature of the Great Recession requires more comprehensive tools. The National Transfer Accounts (NTA) framework provides such a tool, allowing us to examine the age dimension of consumption, production, transfers, and saving. In this paper, I will show age profiles of all of these economic activities for the full age range, from pre-recession years through 2011. The results indicate that all ages have been hurt by the recession, but the coping mechanisms open to them have varied significantly by age.

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Presented in Poster Session 3