The International Handbook of Social Impact Assessment
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The International Handbook of Social Impact Assessment

Conceptual and Methodological Advances

Edited by Henk A. Becker and Frank Vanclay

This important Handbook presents an indispensable overview of the range of new methods and of the conceptual advances in Social Impact Assessment (SIA). Recent increased attention to social considerations has led to substantial development in the techniques useful to, and the thinking in, SIA. A distinguished group of contributors provides an up-to-date and comprehensive account of the cutting-edge in SIA development.
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Chapter 12: Socioeconomic Modelling for Estimating Intergenerational Impacts

Gijs Dekkers


Gijs Dekkers Introduction The use of empirical models to evaluate potential economic, fiscal or social policy is widely accepted. The best known models of this type are macroeconomic models, which simulate the effect of intended policy measures (including changes to existing policy) or possible exogenous changes (such as a change in the price of oil) on aggregated variables such as gross domestic product (GDP), inflation, the budget deficit, external debt, tax benefits or social security payments. The effects of potential policy changes are expressed in terms of how they change the aggregate variables over time. For example, a decision by the Minister for Social Affairs to increase the minimum pension benefit, with the intention of decreasing poverty among retirees, will result in an increase in pension expenditure by government. Macroeconomic models are also often used in the field of social policy. For example, government agencies in almost every developed country have models that evaluate the effects of demographic changes (notably aging), in combination with social and fiscal policy, on the financial viability of the social security scheme and specifically the pension scheme. This long-term financial viability of a scheme is often referred to as its ‘sustainability’ (that is, financial sustainability) and is defined in terms of the (dis)equilibrium of future costs and revenues. If the financial sustainability of a scheme was considered, the cost-increasing effect of linking the average pension benefit to wages – or the cost-decreasing e...

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