IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/oec/govkaa/5jrw6591hns1.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The whole elephant: A proposal for integrating cash, accrual, and sustainability-gap accounts

Author

Listed:
  • Timothy C. Irwin

Abstract

Although the budget deficit is much discussed in political debate and economic research, there is no agreement on how it should be measured. There are at least four options, which can be called the cash deficit, the financial deficit, the full-accrual deficit, and the comprehensive deficit. Each is informative, but each has problems of relevance or reliability. Some are more vulnerable to manipulation involving assets and liabilities that are unrecognised in the underlying accounting, others to manipulation involving the mismeasurement of recognised assets and liabilities. Governments should publish all four in a form that reveals their interrelationships.JEL classification: H6, H61, H62 Keywords: Accrual accounts, comprehensive accounts, liabilities, budget deficit

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy C. Irwin, 2015. "The whole elephant: A proposal for integrating cash, accrual, and sustainability-gap accounts," OECD Journal on Budgeting, OECD Publishing, vol. 14(3), pages 1-18.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:govkaa:5jrw6591hns1
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/budget-14-5jrw6591hns1
    Download Restriction: Full text available to READ online. PDF download available to OECD iLibrary subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Timothy C. Irwin, 2015. "Defining The Government'S Debt And Deficit," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(4), pages 711-732, September.
    2. Timothy C Irwin, 2012. "Some Algebra of Fiscal Transparency; How Accounting Devices Work and How to Reveal Them," IMF Working Papers 12/228, International Monetary Fund.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H6 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt
    • H61 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Budget; Budget Systems
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oec:govkaa:5jrw6591hns1. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/oecddfr.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.