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Planning or Propaganda? An Evaluation of Germany's Medium-term Budgetary Planning

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  • Friedrich Heinemann

Abstract

In Germany, medium-term financial planning (Mifrifi) was introduced at the end of the sixties. This study scrutinizes the German federal government's experience of more than thirty years of financial planning. The paper begins by exploring the potential normative and political-economic driving forces behind fiscal projections. The following empirical analysis evaluates the forecasting quality of medium-term financial planing with regard to expenditures, taxes, and deficits. A model is tested that relates forecast budgetary trends to economic, institutional, and political-economic factors. Current financial planning is shown to be ineffective in making budgetary policy more predictable. Rather than promoting more credible and binding projections, the Maastricht Treaty appears to have encouraged even less realistic budgetary planning and overoptimistic financial projections in Germany. The policy conclusion suggests that responsibility for fiscal forecasts may need to be transferred to an independent institution.

Suggested Citation

  • Friedrich Heinemann, 2006. "Planning or Propaganda? An Evaluation of Germany's Medium-term Budgetary Planning," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 62(4), pages 551-578, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(200612)62:4_551:popaeo_2.0.tx_2-v DOI: 10.1628/001522106X172698
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    Cited by:

    1. Batchelor, Roy, 2007. "Bias in macroeconomic forecasts," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 189-203.
    2. Thiess Buettner & Bjoern Kauder, 2015. "Political biases despite external expert participation? An empirical analysis of tax revenue forecasts in Germany," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 164(3), pages 287-307, September.
    3. repec:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(201706)73:2_213:mffeft_2.0.tx_2-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Roy Batchelor, 2007. "Forecaster Behaviour and Bias in Macroeconomic Forecasts," ifo Working Paper Series 39, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    5. Kappler, Marcus, 2007. "Projecting the Medium-Term: Outcomes and Errors for GDP Growth," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-068, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    6. Niels Gilbert & Jasper de Jong, 2014. "Does the Stability and Growth Pact induce a bias in the EC's fiscal forecasts," DNB Working Papers 451, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    7. Jens Boysen-Hogrefe, 2015. "Konjunkturbereinigungsverfahren der Länder: Eine Quasi-Echtzeitanalyse am Beispiel Schleswig-Holsteins," AStA Wirtschafts- und Sozialstatistisches Archiv, Springer;Deutsche Statistische Gesellschaft - German Statistical Society, vol. 9(1), pages 41-57, April.
    8. Roel Beetsma & Benjamin Bluhm & Massimo Giuliodori & Peter Wierts, 2013. "From Budgetary Forecasts To Ex Post Fiscal Data: Exploring The Evolution Of Fiscal Forecast Errors In The European Union," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(4), pages 795-813, October.
    9. International Monetary Fund, 2005. "Republic of Poland; Selected Issues," IMF Staff Country Reports 05/264, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Niels D. Gilbert & Jasper F.M. Jong, 2017. "Do European fiscal rules induce a bias in fiscal forecasts? Evidence from the Stability and Growth Pact," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 170(1), pages 1-32, January.
    11. Roel Beetsma & Benjamin Bluhm & Massimo Giuliodori & Peter Wierts, 2011. "From First-Release to Ex-Post Fiscal Data: Exploring the Sources of Revision Errors in the EU," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-080/2, Tinbergen Institute.
    12. Breuer Christian, 2015. "On the Rationality of Medium-Term Tax Revenue Forecasts: Evidence from Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 235(1), pages 22-40, February.
    13. Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke & Christoph Schinke, 2017. "Manipulating Fiscal Forecasts: Evidence from the German States," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 73(2), pages 213-236, June.
    14. Simon Luechinger & Christoph Schaltegger, 2013. "Fiscal rules, budget deficits and budget projections," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(5), pages 785-807, October.
    15. J. Ayuso-i-Casals & S. Deroose & E. Flores & L. Moulin, 2007. "The role of fiscal rules and institutions in shaping budgetary outcomes," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 275, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mifrifi; budgetary planning; stability and growth pact;

    JEL classification:

    • H61 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Budget; Budget Systems
    • H87 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods

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