The world’s oldest fiscal watchdog: CPB’s analyses foster consensus on economic policy
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). 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.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.|
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
|Order Information:|| Email: |
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- F. J. H. Don & J. P. Verbruggen, 2006.
"Models and methods for economic policy: 60 years of evolution at CPB,"
Netherlands Society for Statistics and Operations Research, vol. 60(2), pages 145-170.
- Henk Don & Johan Verbruggen, 2006. "Models and methods for economic policy; 60 years of evolution at CPB," CPB Discussion Paper 55, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
- Alan J. Auerbach & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1991.
"Generational accounts: a meaningful alternative to deficit accounting,"
9103, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
- 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.
- Alan J. Auerbach & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1991. "Generational Accounts - A Meaningful Alternative to Deficit Accounting," NBER Working Papers 3589, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8902. 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: ()The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask to update the entry or send us the correct email address
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.