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Cyclical sensitivity of fiscal policies based on real-time data

  • Lorenzo Forni

    ()

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Sandro Momigliano

    ()

    (Bank of Italy)

This paper examines the information-related problems associated with the analysis of fiscal policies, an issue recently analyzed in connection with monetary policies but largely ignored in the literature on budgetary actions. The results indicate that reliance on the information actually available to policy-makers in real-time is important for the assessment of past policies. We show that estimating fiscal policy rules based on ex post revised data tends to provide a misleading assessment of the sensitivity of discretionary policies to cyclical conditions. The results also suggest that part of the problems the Stability and Growth Pact encountered may have come from a misjudgment of cyclical conditions in some European countries in recent years.

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File URL: http://www.bancaditalia.it/pubblicazioni/temi-discussione/2004/2004-0540/tema_540.pdf
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Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 540.

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Date of creation: Dec 2004
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_540_04
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  1. Darrel Cohen & Glenn Follette, 2003. "Forecasting exogenous fiscal variables in the United States," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-59, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Rünstler, Gerhard, 2002. "The information content of real-time output gap estimates, an application to the euro area," Working Paper Series 0182, European Central Bank.
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  4. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "Monetary policy evaluation with noisy information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 605-631, April.
  5. Athanasios Orphanides & Simon Van_Norden, 2000. "The Reliability of Output Gap Estimates in Real Time," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0768, Econometric Society.
  6. Fabrizio Balassone & Maura Francese, 2004. "Cyclical asymmetry in fiscal policy, debt accumulation and the Treaty of Maastricht," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 531, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  7. Alan J. Auerbach, 2002. "Is there a role for discretionary fiscal policy?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 109-150.
  8. Claude Giorno & Pete Richardson & Deborah Roseveare & Paul van den Noord, 1995. "Estimating Potential Output, Output Gaps and Structural Budget Balances," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 152, OECD Publishing.
  9. Jordi Gali & Roberto Perotti, 2003. "Fiscal Policy and Monetary Integration in Europe," NBER Working Papers 9773, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Buti, Marco & Franco, Daniele & Ongena, Hedwig, 1998. "Fiscal Discipline and Flexibility in EMU: The Implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 81-97, Autumn.
  11. Marco Buti & Paul van den Noord, 2004. "Fiscal policy in EMU: Rules, discretion and political incentives," European Economy - Economic Papers 206, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  12. Jean-Claude Chouraqui & Robert P. Hagemann & Nicola Sartor, 1990. "Indicators of Fiscal Policy: A Re-Examination," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 78, OECD Publishing.
  13. Paul van den Noord, 2000. "The Size and Role of Automatic Fiscal Stabilizers in the 1990s and Beyond," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 230, OECD Publishing.
  14. John B. Taylor, 2000. "Reassessing Discretionary Fiscal Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 21-36, Summer.
  15. Martin Larch & Matteo Salto, 2003. "Fiscal rules, inertia and discretionary fiscal policy," European Economy - Economic Papers 194, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
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