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Early Warning or Just Wise After the Event?

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  • Andrew Hughes Hallet
  • Rasmus Kattai
  • John Lewis

Abstract

The effectiveness of cyclically adjusted balances (CABs) as an indicator of the health of public finances depends on the accuracy with which cyclically adjusted figures can be calculated in real time. This paper measures the accuracy of such figures using a specially constructed real time dataset containing published values of deficits, output gaps and cyclically adjusted deficits from successive issues of OECD economic outlook. We find that data revisions are so great that real time CABs have low power in detecting fiscal slippages as defined by the ex post data. We find that the around half of the real time errors in CABs can be attributed to revisions in the cyclical component of the budget balance, and around one half to revisions in the deficit to GDP ratio across vintages.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department in its series DNB Working Papers with number 124.

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Date of creation: Jan 2007
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Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:124

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  1. Jakob de Haan & Helge Berger & David-Jan Jansen, 2003. "The End of the Stability and Growth Pact?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1093, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Alain GUAY & Pierre SAINT-AMANT, 2005. "Do the Hodrick-Prescott and Baxter-King Filters Provide a Good Approximation of Business Cycles?," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 77, pages 133-155.
  3. Beetsma, Roel & Giuliodori, Massimo, 2007. "On the Relationship between Fiscal Plans in the European Union: An Empirical Analysis Based on Real-Time Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 6088, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. de Haan, Jakob & Berger, Helge & Jansen, David-Jan, 2003. "The end of stability and growth pact?," Discussion Papers 2003/16, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  5. Forni, Lorenzo & Momigliano, Sandro, 2004. "Cyclical sensitivity of fiscal policies based on real-time data," MPRA Paper 4315, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. St-Amant, P. & van Norden, S., 1997. "Measurement of the Output Gap: A Discussion of Recent Research at the Bank of Canada," Technical Reports 79, Bank of Canada.
  7. Giavazzi, Francesco & Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 2000. "Searching for non-linear effects of fiscal policy: Evidence from industrial and developing countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1259-1289, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Andrew Hughes Hallett & Drew Scott, 2010. "Scotland: A New Fiscal Settlement," CDMA Working Paper Series 201009, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
  2. Andrew Hughes Hallett, 2008. "Coordination without Explicit Cooperation: Monetary-Fiscal Interactions in an Era of Demographic Change," European Economy - Economic Papers 305, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  3. Cepparulo, Alessandra & Gastaldi, Francesca & Giuriato, Luisa & Sacchi, Agnese, 2011. "Budgeting versus implementing fiscal policy:the Italian case," MPRA Paper 32474, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Karsten Staehr, 2007. "Fiscal Policies and Business Cycles in an Enlarged Euro Area," CESifo Working Paper Series 1933, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Kerstin Bernoth & Andrew Hughes Hallet & John Lewis, 2008. "Did fiscal policy makers know what they were doing? Reassessing fiscal policy with real-time data," DNB Working Papers 169, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  6. Richard C.K. Burdekin & King Banaian & Mark Hallerberg & Pierre L. Siklos, 2011. "Fiscal and monetary institutions and policies: onward and upward?," Journal of Financial Economic Policy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 3(4), pages 340-354, November.

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