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Early Warning or Just Wise After the Event?

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  • Andrew Hughes Hallet
  • Rasmus Kattai
  • John Lewis

Abstract

The effectiveness of cyclically adjusted balances (CABs) as an indicator of the health of public finances depends on the accuracy with which cyclically adjusted figures can be calculated in real time. This paper measures the accuracy of such figures using a specially constructed real time dataset containing published values of deficits, output gaps and cyclically adjusted deficits from successive issues of OECD economic outlook. We find that data revisions are so great that real time CABs have low power in detecting fiscal slippages as defined by the ex post data. We find that the around half of the real time errors in CABs can be attributed to revisions in the cyclical component of the budget balance, and around one half to revisions in the deficit to GDP ratio across vintages.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Hughes Hallet & Rasmus Kattai & John Lewis, 2007. "Early Warning or Just Wise After the Event?," DNB Working Papers 124, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:124
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    File URL: https://www.dnb.nl/binaries/Working%20Paper%20124-2007_tcm46-146781.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. de Haan, Jakob & Berger, Helge & Jansen, David-Jan, 2003. "The end of stability and growth pact?," Discussion Papers 2003/16, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    2. Giavazzi, Francesco & Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 2000. "Searching for non-linear effects of fiscal policy: Evidence from industrial and developing countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1259-1289, June.
    3. Lorenzo Forni & Sandro Momigliano, 2004. "Cyclical sensitivity of fiscal policies based on real-time data," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 540, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    4. Giuliodori, Massimo & Beetsma, Roel, 2008. "On the relationship between fiscal plans in the European Union: An empirical analysis based on real-time data," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, pages 221-242.
    5. Alain Guay & Pierre Saint-Amant, 2005. "Do the Hodrick-Prescott and Baxter-King Filters Provide a Good Approximation of Business Cycles?," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, pages 133-155.
    6. Jakob de Haan & Helge Berger & David-Jan Jansen, 2003. "The End of the Stability and Growth Pact?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1093, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. St-Amant, P. & van Norden, S., 1997. "Measurement of the Output Gap: A Discussion of Recent Research at the Bank of Canada," Technical Reports 79, Bank of Canada.
    8. Alain Guay & Pierre Saint-Amant, 2005. "Do the Hodrick-Prescott and Baxter-King Filters Provide a Good Approximation of Business Cycles?," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, pages 133-155.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cepparulo, Alessandra & Gastaldi, Francesca & Giuriato, Luisa & Sacchi, Agnese, 2011. "Budgeting versus implementing fiscal policy:the Italian case," MPRA Paper 32474, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Richard C.K. Burdekin & King Banaian & Mark Hallerberg & Pierre L. Siklos, 2011. "Fiscal and monetary institutions and policies: onward and upward?," Journal of Financial Economic Policy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 3(4), pages 340-354, November.
    3. Staehr, Karsten, 2008. "Fiscal policies and business cycles in an enlarged euro area," Economic Systems, Elsevier, pages 46-69.
    4. Zsolt Darvas & Gyorgy Szapary, 2008. "Euro Area Enlargement and Euro Adoption Strategies," IEHAS Discussion Papers 0824, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
    5. Andrew Hughes Hallett & Drew Scott, 2010. "Scotland: A New Fiscal Settlement," CDMA Working Paper Series 201009, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
    6. Kerstin Bernoth & Andrew Hughes Hallet & John Lewis, 2008. "Did fiscal policy makers know what they were doing? Reassessing fiscal policy with real-time data," DNB Working Papers 169, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.

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