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Creative accounting practices and measurement methods: Evidence from Turkey


  • Ozkaya, Ata


A fiscal rule imposed when the budget is not transparent yields more creative accounting to circumvent it and less fiscal adjustment, generating hidden deficits/debts in public sector. This study focuses on creative accounting practices of governments and adds to the literature by measuring hidden debts of the Turkish public sector ranging from the period 1989 to 2010. The author shows that the IMF has been misinformed, indeed has been misled by the Turkish authorities regarding the magnitude of public debt stock in the late 90's. The lacking information deteriorated the IMF's forecasts, which might be one of the main reasons for the failure of the IMF's planned fiscal consolidation at the outset of 2000 - 2001 crisis. The author's methodology can easily be adapted to any other country in order to identify the different margins on which governments can cheat and manipulate the Government Finance Statistics.

Suggested Citation

  • Ozkaya, Ata, 2014. "Creative accounting practices and measurement methods: Evidence from Turkey," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 8, pages 1-27.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifweej:201429

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ayse Y. Evrensel, 2004. "IMF Programs and Financial Liberalization in Turkey," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(4), pages 5-19, July.
    2. Marco Buti & João Nogueira Martins & Alessandro Turrini, 2007. "From Deficits to Debt and Back: Political Incentives under Numerical Fiscal Rules," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 53(1), pages 115-152, March.
    3. Timothy C Irwin, 2012. "Accounting Devices and Fiscal Illusions," IMF Staff Discussion Notes 12/02, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Francisco Castro & Javier J. Pérez & Marta Rodríguez‐Vives, 2013. "Fiscal Data Revisions in Europe," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 45(6), pages 1187-1209, September.
    5. Anastasia Guscina & Olivier D Jeanne, 2006. "Government Debt in Emerging Market Countries; A New Data Set," IMF Working Papers 06/98, International Monetary Fund.
    6. F. Gulcin Ozkan, 2005. "Currency and Financial Crises in Turkey 2000-2001: Bad Fundamentals or Bad Luck?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(4), pages 541-572, April.
    7. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2005. "IMF programs: Who is chosen and what are the effects?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1245-1269, October.
    8. Brixi, Hana Polackova & Ghanem, Hafez & Islam, Roumeen, 1999. "Fiscal adjustment and contingent government liabilities : case studies of the Czech Republic and Macedonia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2177, The World Bank.
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    More about this item


    fiscal rules; creative accounting; contingent liabilities; hidden public debt; IMF policies;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H61 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Budget; Budget Systems
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
    • H83 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Public Administration


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