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Forecasting exogenous fiscal variables in the United States


  • Darrel Cohen
  • Glenn Follette


This paper provides an introduction to the practice of forecasting "exogenous" components of federal government taxes and spending-policy actions, for short--in the United States. First, we estimate simple models of defense expenditures that are useful for constructing current-quarter forecasts based on incoming daily and monthly spending data. Also, we discuss forecasting policy changes in the context of extending recent empirical work of Alan Auerbach (2002, 2003) on fiscal reaction functions. Forecasts of exogenous fiscal actions are an important input into forecasts of the budget deficit, and we compare the forecasts of the budget deficit prepared by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the President's Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the staff o the Federal Reserve Board (FRB). To our knowledge, analysis of the FRB forecasts has not been done before.

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  • Darrel Cohen & Glenn Follette, 2003. "Forecasting exogenous fiscal variables in the United States," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-59, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2003-59

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alan J. Auerbach, 2003. "Fiscal Policy, Past and Present," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 75-138.
    2. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 1999. "Assessing the effects of fiscal shocks," Working Paper Series WP-99-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    3. Hall, Robert E., 1980. "Labor supply and aggregate fluctuations," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 7-33, January.
    4. Alan J. Auerbach, 2002. "Is there a role for discretionary fiscal policy?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 109-150.
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    Cited by:

    1. Forni, Lorenzo & Momigliano, Sandro, 2004. "Cyclical sensitivity of fiscal policies based on real-time data," MPRA Paper 4315, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Yoosoon Chang & Boreum Kwak, 2017. "U.S. Monetary-Fiscal Regime Changes in the Presence of Endogenous Feedback in Policy Rules," Caepr Working Papers 2017-016 Classification- , Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
    3. Roberto Golinelli & Sandro Momigliano, 2006. "Real-time determinants of fiscal policies in the euro area: Fiscal rules, cyclical conditions and elections," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 609, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    4. Andrew B. Martinez, 2011. "Comparing Government Forecasts of the United States’ Gross Federal Debt," Working Papers 2011-002, The George Washington University, Department of Economics, Research Program on Forecasting.
    5. Roberto Golinelli & Sandro Momigliano, 2008. "The cyclical response of fiscal policies in the euro area. Why do results of empirical research differ so strongly?," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 654, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    6. Chang, Yoosoon & Kwak, Boreum, 2017. "U.S. monetary-fiscal regime changes in the presence of endogenous feedback in policy rules," IWH Discussion Papers 15/2017, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    7. Golinelli, Roberto & Momigliano, Sandro, 2006. "Real-time determinants of fiscal policies in the euro area," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 28(9), pages 943-964, December.
    8. Eric M. Engen & R. Glenn Hubbard, 2005. "Federal Government Debt and Interest Rates," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 83-160 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Martinez, Andrew B., 2015. "How good are US government forecasts of the federal debt?," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 312-324.
    10. repec:oxf:wpaper:727 is not listed on IDEAS

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    Fiscal policy ; Expenditures; Public;

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