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A Solution to Fiscal Procyclicality: the Structural Budget Institutions Pioneered by Chile

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  • Jeffrey Frankel

Abstract

This paper assesses official government forecasts of the future performance of the economy and public accounts of a large sample of countries. The main finding is that official GDP and budget forecasts tend to be—on average—overoptimistic, and that the bias is larger at longer horizons and during economic booms. The conclusion is that official forecasts, if not shielded from political pressures, tend to embellish predictions, and the problem is magnified if the government is formally subject to a budget rule. The essential innovation that has permitted Chile to implement a countercyclical fiscal policy and generate surpluses during booms is not just the structural rule per se, but the regime that entrusts an independent panel of experts the responsibility of estimating how far current copper prices and GDP have diverted from their long-time averages.

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  • Jeffrey Frankel, 2011. "A Solution to Fiscal Procyclicality: the Structural Budget Institutions Pioneered by Chile," Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 14(2), pages 39-78, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchec:v:14:y:2011:i:2:p:39-51
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • Q33 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Resource Booms (Dutch Disease)

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