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Fiscal forecast errors: Governments versus independent agencies?

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  • Merola, Rossana
  • Pérez, Javier J.

Abstract

We present evidence pointing to the fact that international agencies' fiscal forecasts were affected to some extent by the same type of problems that the literature widely acknowledges for governmental ones. Informational shortages may lead independent agencies' staff to internalize “political biases” in governmental forecasts when trying to grasp genuine “private information”. Our study is based on a real-time database of EC, OECD and national governments' public deficit forecasts for 15 European countries over the period 1999–2007 and four vintages of projections per forecasted year. Against this background, independent national fiscal institutions might be a natural option, to the extent that they may have better access to inside national information than international organizations. Our results also provide some support to policy positions that claim a closer monitoring of official budgetary projections, in particular as regards transparency requisites, accountability and the threat of sanctions.

Suggested Citation

  • Merola, Rossana & Pérez, Javier J., 2013. "Fiscal forecast errors: Governments versus independent agencies?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 285-299.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:32:y:2013:i:c:p:285-299
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2013.09.002
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    Keywords

    Forecast errors; Fiscal policies; Fiscal forecasting; Political economy;

    JEL classification:

    • H6 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods

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