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Improving fiscal policy in the EU: the case for independent forecasts

  • Lars Jonung
  • Martin Larch

The evidence from several euro-area countries demonstrates the existence of a forecast bias in the budgetary process, which negatively affects fiscal performance. To remedy this bias, we suggest that forecasting should be assigned to an authority independent from the ministry of finance and the government, with the task of producing unbiased projections of growth and other variables crucial for the budgetary process.

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Paper provided by Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission in its series European Economy - Economic Papers with number 210.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:euf:ecopap:0210
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  1. 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.
  2. M. Buti & D. Franco & H. Ongena, 1997. "Budgetary Policies during Recessions - Retrospective Application of the "Stability and Growth Pact" to the Post-War Period," European Economy - Economic Papers 121, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  3. Rolf Strauch & Mark Hallerberg & Jürgen von Hagen, 2004. "Budgetary Forecasts in Europe – The Track Record of Stability and Convergence Programmes," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2004/42, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
  4. André Sapir & Marco Buti, 1998. "Economic policy in EMU," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/8078, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
  6. Lars Jonung, 2002. "EMU and the euro - the first 10 years. Challenges to the sustainability and price stability of the euro area - what does history tell us?," European Economy - Economic Papers 165, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  7. Roel M. W. J. Beetsma & Xavier Debrun, 2004. "Reconciling Stability and Growth: Smart Pacts and Structural Reforms," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 51(3), pages 431-456, November.
  8. Willem H. Buiter & Clemens Grafe, 2004. "Patching up the Pact," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 12(1), pages 67-102, 03.
  9. Wren-Lewis, Simon, 2000. "The Limits to Discretionary Fiscal Stabilization Policy," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(4), pages 92-105, Winter.
  10. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1996. "Budget Deficits and Budget Institutions," NBER Working Papers 5556, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Artis, M. & Marcellino, M., 1999. "Fiscal Forecasting: the Track Record of the IMF, OECD and EC," Economics Working Papers eco99/22, European University Institute.
  12. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1995. "Fiscal Expansions and Fiscal Adjustments in OECD Countries," NBER Working Papers 5214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Blanchard, Olivier J & Giavazzi, Francesco, 2004. "Improving the SGP Through a Proper Accounting of Public Investment," CEPR Discussion Papers 4220, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Bretschneider, Stuart I. & Gorr, Wilpen L. & Grizzle, Gloria & Klay, Earle, 1989. "Political and organizational influences on the accuracy of forecasting state government revenues," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 307-319.
  15. John B. Taylor, 2000. "Reassessing Discretionary Fiscal Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 21-36, Summer.
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