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The Forecasting Capacity of Indicators Measuring Budget Sustainability

Author

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  • Csaba Tóth G.

    () (The Central Bank of Hungary)

Abstract

Since the outbreak of the European debt crisis, fiscal sustainability as a research area became more and more popular. This paper aims to assess the predicting power of the basic types of the following five fiscal sustainability indicators: primary gap (1), stationary tests for public debt (2), stationary test for the first differential of public debt (3), public revenues and expenditures cointegration (4); fiscal reaction function (5). The results indicate that predictive power is rather low for all indicators except for the first one. One reason for this may be that these indicators ignore the factors outside the range of fiscal policy. After comparing our result with previous research studies, we conclude that the results of these tests are heavily influenced by the choice of parameters, samples and the econometric methods used. For these reasons, it appears reasonable to evaluate and compare the predictive power of all fiscal sustainability indicators. By utilising the lessons learned, certain procedures should be standardised on the one hand, where this is possible, and on the other, methodology should be developed further in order to increase effectiveness.

Suggested Citation

  • Csaba Tóth G., 2014. "The Forecasting Capacity of Indicators Measuring Budget Sustainability," Public Finance Quarterly, State Audit Office of Hungary, vol. 59(4), pages 511-528.
  • Handle: RePEc:pfq:journl:v:59:y:2014:i:4:p:511-528
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gabriela Dobrescu & Iva Petrova & Nazim Belhocine & Emanuele Baldacci, 2011. "Assessing Fiscal Stress," IMF Working Papers 11/100, International Monetary Fund.
    2. George J. Hall & Thomas J. Sargent, 2011. "Interest Rate Risk and Other Determinants of Post-WWII US Government Debt/GDP Dynamics," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 192-214, July.
    3. Pablo Hernández de Cos & Enrique Moral-Benito & Gerrit B. Koester & Christiane Nickel, 2014. "Signalling fiscal stress in the euro area: A country-specific early warning system," Working Papers 1418, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    4. Claeys, Peter, 2007. "Sustainability of EU Fiscal Policies: a Panel Test," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 22, pages 112-127.
    5. Silika Prohl & Friedrich G. Schneider, 2006. "Sustainability of Public Debt and Budget Deficit: Panel cointegration analysis for the European Union Member countries," Economics working papers 2006-10, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal policy; fiscal rules; sustainability indicators; primary gap; public debt;

    JEL classification:

    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General
    • H69 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Other

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