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Should Advanced Countries Adopt a Fiscal Responsibility Law?


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  • Ian Lienert
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    Fiscal Responsibility Laws (FRLs) appear to be more popular in middle-income countries than advanced countries, even though their success is limited. The reasons why few advanced countries have a FRL include: the existing legal framework for the budget system is adequate; supranational rules and political agreements in EU countries; failed attempts to include quantitative fiscal rules in laws; lack of consensus or interest in attaining the goals of FRL-type legislation; and lack of need for a law to regulate fiscal transparency, accountability and macro-fiscal stabilization. Without commitment to fiscal discipline, adoption of a FRL may not contribute to attaining fiscal consolidation goals.

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    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 10/254.

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    Length: 45
    Date of creation: 01 Nov 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:10/254

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    Keywords: Fiscal transparency; Budgetary policy; Debt sustainability; Developed countries; Financial management; Fiscal stability; Governance; Public finance; fiscal policy; fiscal rules; fiscal responsibility; annual budget; budget management; budget system; fiscal consolidation; public debt; fiscal targets; fiscal deficits; fiscal discipline; fiscal deficit; fiscal balance; fiscal responsibility act; fiscal objectives; fiscal management; public finances; state budget; budget law; fiscal performance; fiscal responsibility law; fiscal framework; fiscal council; fiscal strategy; fiscal responsibility laws; fiscal developments; budget systems; fiscal policies; fiscal information; fiscal rule; medium-term fiscal framework; budget principles; medium-term budget; public finance act; government accounting; budget execution; budget year; government guarantees; fiscal affairs department; fiscal reporting; contingent liabilities; national budget; budget framework; fiscal outlook; fiscal affairs; fiscal projections; budget activities; annual budgets; government deficit; fiscal sustainability; fiscal risks; government expenditure; government spending; fiscal outcomes; fiscal balances; fiscal reports; budget guidelines; fiscal measures; accrual accounting; budget enforcement; budget approval; budget enforcement act; external audit; budget projections; budget practices; public finance laws; expenditure policy; fiscal policy actions; fiscal stabilization; budget report; fiscal surpluses; public expenditure; fiscal position; government budget; budget outcome; quasi-fiscal activities; budget rule; central government debt; budget policy; budget surpluses; fiscal structural reform; budget deficit; budgetary impact; fiscal imbalances; public finance legislation; budget formulation; spending control; government fiscal deficit; decentralization; fiscal frameworks; budget documents; tax rates; budget execution reports; budget reform; budget balance; public financial management; national fiscal rules; public finance law; fiscal policy framework; fiscal activities; fiscal years; capital expenditures; budget outcomes; fiscal policy objectives; public investment; fiscal risk; fiscal reporting requirements; budget managers; fiscal aggregates; budget institutions; fiscal stimulus; central government spending; accounting standards; medium-term fiscal strategy; government expenditures; fiscal planning; structural adjustment; fiscal situations; excessive deficit procedure; budget aggregates; fiscal policy management; budget implementation; fiscal indicators; fiscal policy discussions; fiscal responsibilities; tax revenues; department of finance; government finances; budgetary principles; fiscal soundness; government performance; fiscal agencies; full accrual accounting; tax cuts; fiscal relations; budget transfers; long-term fiscal sustainability; fiscal policy priorities; tax bases; responsible fiscal policy; tax policy; medium-term budget framework; budget officials; prudent fiscal policy; fiscal deficit target; intergovernmental fiscal relations; budget formulation process; fiscal policy goals; fiscal reporting purposes; budgetary outcomes; budget act; budget targets; fiscal positions; national fiscal targets; central government expenditure; fiscal situation; budgetary performance; budget rules; budgetary processes; fiscal adjustment; budget transactions; extrabudgetary funds; budget execution information; budgetary position; tax reductions; federal government budget; budget control; fiscal target; budget authority; public spending; tax increases; fiscal prudence; accrual budgeting; budget preparation; budget balances; intergovernmental fiscal; budget office; defense spending; budget operations; fiscal plans; international accounting standards; budget statement; fiscal forecasts; budget situation; aggregate demand; fiscal variable; keynesian fiscal policy; budget documentation; organic budget law; budget estimates; fiscal_responsibility; budget comprehensiveness; fiscal policy rules; primary deficit; fiscal outcome; excessive deficits; fiscal plan; fiscal stabilization policies; budget transparency; fiscal decision; budget strategy; budget outturns; budget reforms; fiscal outturns; national accounts; medium-term fiscal projections; tax administration;

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    1. Stéphanie Guichard & Mike Kennedy & Eckhard Wurzel & Christophe André, 2007. "What Promotes Fiscal Consolidation: OECD Country Experiences," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 553, OECD Publishing.
    2. Fabrizio Balassone & Daniele Franco & Stefania Zotteri, 2007. "The Reliability of EMU FIscal Indicators: Risks and Safeguards," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers), Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area 633, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    3. Vincent Koen & Paul van den Noord, 2005. "Fiscal Gimmickry in Europe: One-Off Measures and Creative Accounting," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 417, OECD Publishing.
    4. David Rae, 2002. "Next Steps for Public Spending in New Zealand: The Pursuit of Effectiveness," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 337, OECD Publishing.
    5. Kerstin Bernoth & Guntram B. Wolff, 2006. "Fool the Markets? Creative Accounting, Fiscal Transparency and Sovereign Risk Premia," CESifo Working Paper Series 1732, CESifo Group Munich.
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    Cited by:
    1. Blume, Lorenz & Voigt, Stefan, 2013. "The economic effects of constitutional budget institutions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 236-251.
    2. Sacchi, Agnese & Salotti, Simone, 2014. "The impact of national fiscal rules on the stabilisation function of fiscal policy," MPRA Paper 56982, University Library of Munich, Germany.


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