IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpb/discus/207.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The world’s oldest fiscal watchdog: CPB’s analyses foster consensus on economic policy

Author

Listed:
  • Frits Bos

    () (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

  • Coen Teulings

    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

Abstract

The sovereign debt problems in European countries have increased the interest in fiscal watchdogs. This paper discusses the world’s oldest fiscal watchdog, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB). Read also the article at "VoxEU.org" , a blog at "Mostly Economics" and the presentation used by Coen Teulings during a Joint Conference by the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department and the Swedish Ministry of Finance, on issues surrounding fiscal consolidation and medium-term budgetary frameworks. CPB was founded directly after World War II. It has built a reputation of independence and quality, while it has also achieved a solid position in Dutch policy making. CPB provides (i) the macroeconomic forecast underlying the annual budget, (ii) a midterm review of the state of public finance at the start of each election cycle, (iii) cost-benefit analyses of all kind of policy proposals (from education to physical infrastructure), and (iv) an assessment of the economic impact of the platforms of political parties before the election. Four lessons can be drawn from 65 years of Dutch experience. Firstly, a reputation of quality and independence is crucial for the success of a watchdog. Building such a reputation takes time. Secondly, the scope of activities should not be limited to fiscal policy only. The broad scope of CPB’s analyses has contributed to shared public understanding of relevant trade-offs and policy options. Thirdly, the effectiveness of CPB depends crucially on a clear demarcation of the distinctive roles of CPB and political parties. Welfare theory provides little guidance in drawing this demarcation line. Fourthly, being part of the government has the advantage of getting inside information and being effective in the daily policy making process, but the disadvantage that the actual or perceived independence is more difficult to maintain.

Suggested Citation

  • Frits Bos & Coen Teulings, 2012. "The world’s oldest fiscal watchdog: CPB’s analyses foster consensus on economic policy," CPB Discussion Paper 207, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:207
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cpb.nl/sites/default/files/publicaties/download/dp207the-worlds-oldest-fiscal-watchdog_0.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.cpb.nl/sites/default/files/publicaties/download/dp207the-worlds-oldest-fiscal-watchdog.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Frits Bos, 2006. "The development of the Dutch national accounts as a tool for analysis and policy," Statistica Neerlandica, Netherlands Society for Statistics and Operations Research, vol. 60(2), pages 225-258.
    2. Alan J. Auerbach & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1991. "Generational Accounts: A Meaningful Alternative to Deficit Accounting," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 5, pages 55-110 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Donders, Jan & Graafland, Johan, 1998. "CPB models and employment policy in the Netherlands," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 341-356, July.
    4. F. J. H. Don & J. P. Verbruggen, 2006. "Models and methods for economic policy: 60 years of evolution at CPB," Statistica Neerlandica, Netherlands Society for Statistics and Operations Research, vol. 60(2), pages 145-170.
    5. Coen Teulings & Frits Bos, 2010. "CPB and Dutch fiscal policy in view of the financial crisis and ageing," CPB Document 218, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    6. Bos, Frits & Teulings, Coen, 2011. "Evaluating election platforms: a task for fiscal councils? Scope and rules of the game in view of 25 years of Dutch practice," MPRA Paper 31536, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Frits Bos, 2008. "The Dutch fiscal framework: History, current practice and the role of the central planning bureau," OECD Journal on Budgeting, OECD Publishing, vol. 8(1), pages 1-42.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H6 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt
    • N4 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:cpb:discus:207. 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/cpbgvnl.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.