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Early warning or just wise after the event? The problem of using cyclically adjusted budget deficits for fiscal surveillance

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  • Andrew Hughes Hallett

    ()

  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Hughes Hallett & Rasmus Kattai & John Lewis, 2007. "Early warning or just wise after the event? The problem of using cyclically adjusted budget deficits for fiscal surveillance," Bank of Estonia Working Papers 2007-02, Bank of Estonia, revised 09 Feb 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:eea:boewps:wp2007-02
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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. Buti, Marco & Eijffinger, Sylvester C.W. & Franco, Daniele, 2003. "Revisiting the stability and growth pact: grand design or internal adjustment?," Seminarios y Conferencias 6567, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    4. Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules Based on Real-Time Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 964-985, September.
    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, issue 77, 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. Forni, Lorenzo & Momigliano, Sandro, 2004. "Cyclical sensitivity of fiscal policies based on real-time data," MPRA Paper 4315, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. 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.
    9. 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, vol. 36(2), pages 221-242, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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, vol. 36(2), pages 221-242, June.
    2. 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.
    3. Nilsson, Kristian, 2008. "Conceptual Framework for Fiscal Policy," Occasional Papers 16, National Institute of Economic Research.
    4. Andrew Hughes Hallett & Rasmus Kattai & John Lewis, 2009. "Can we rely on real time figures for cyclically adjusted budget balances?," Bank of Estonia Working Papers 2009-2, Bank of Estonia, revised 20 Oct 2009.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal surveillance; cyclically adjusted budget balance; real time data;

    JEL classification:

    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • H68 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Forecasts of Budgets, Deficits, and Debt

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