Assessing fiscal soundness - Theory and practice
This paper presents a survey of methods for assessing fiscal soundness, i.e. the capability of governments to honour their obligations in the short run and in the long run. The need for a comprehensive monitoring of fiscal soundness derives from the risks to economic stability that arise from the actual or expected difficulty a government may have in honouring its obligations. For the long run, methods derived from the government’s intertemporal budget constraint make it possible to assess the size of a necessary adjustment to achieve sustainability of the debt burden. Uncertainty regarding shocks to the fiscal situation or the behaviour of financial market participants calls for the monitoring of financial flows and government obligations in the short run. Vigilance needs to be all the higher, the greater the uncertainty regarding long-term sustainability.
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