IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Real-time data and fiscal policy analysis: a survey of the literature

  • Jacopo Cimadomo

This paper surveys the empirical research on fiscal policy analysis based on real-time data. This literature can be broadly divided in three groups that focus on: (1) the statistical properties of revisions in fiscal data; (2) the political and institutional determinants of fiscal data revisions and of one-year-ahead projection errors by governments and (3) the reaction of fiscal policies to the business cycle. It emerges that, first, fiscal data revisions are large and initial releases are biased estimates of final values. Second, the presence of strong fiscal rules and institutions leads to relatively more accurate releases of fiscal data and small deviations of fiscal outcomes from government plans. Third, the cyclical stance of fiscal policies is estimated to be more ‘counter-cyclical’ when real-time data are used instead of ex-post data. Finally, more work is needed for the development of real-time datasets for fiscal policy analysis. In particular, a comprehensive real-time dataset including fiscal variables for industrialized (and possibly developing) countries, published and maintained by central banks or other institutions, is still missing.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 11-25.

in new window

Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:11-25
Contact details of provider: Postal:
10 Independence Mall, Philadelphia, PA 19106-1574

Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Dean Croushore, 2008. "Frontiers of real-time data analysis," Working Papers 08-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  2. Wakerly, Elizabeth C & Elena Loukoianova & Shaun P. Vahey, 2003. "A Real Time Tax Smoothing Based Fiscal Policy Rule," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 215, Royal Economic Society.
  3. Leal, Teresa & Pérez, Javier J. & Tujula, Mika & Vidal, Jean-Pierre, 2007. "Fiscal forecasting: lessons from the literature and challenges," Working Paper Series 0843, European Central Bank.
  4. Martin Larch & Alessandro Turrini, 2010. "The cyclically adjusted budget balance in EU fiscal policymaking," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer;German National Library of Economics;Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), vol. 45(1), pages 48-60, January.
  5. Athanasios Orphanides & Simon van Norden, 1999. "The Reliability of Output Gap Estimates in Real Time," Macroeconomics 9907006, EconWPA.
  6. Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin & David H. Small, 2005. "Nowcasting GDP and inflation: the real-time informational content of macroeconomic data releases," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-42, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Salvador Barrios & Pietro Rizza, 2010. "Unexpected changes in tax revenues and the stabilisation function of fiscal policy. Evidence for EU," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 404, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  8. Beetsma, Roel & Bluhm, Benjamin & Giuliodori, Massimo & Wierts, Peter, 2011. "From First-Release to Ex-Post Fiscal Data: Exploring the Sources of Revision Errors in the EU," CEPR Discussion Papers 8413, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Carlos Marinheiro, 2007. "The Stability and Growth Pact, Fiscal Policy Institutions, and Stabilization in Europe," GEMF Working Papers 2007-07, GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra.
  10. Darby, Julia & Melitz, Jacques, 2011. "Joint estimates of automatic and discretionary fiscal policy: the OECD 1981-2003," CEPR Discussion Papers 8342, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Jacopo Cimadomo & Sebastian Hauptmeier & Sergio Sola, 2011. "Identifying the Effects of Government Spending Shocks with and without Expected Reversal: an Approach Based on U.S. Real-Time Data," IHEID Working Papers 12-2011, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
  12. Luís Gordo Mora & João Nogueira Martins, 2007. "How reliable are the statistics for the Stability and Growth Pact?," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 273, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  13. Julia Darby & Jacques Melitz, 2008. "Social spending and automatic stabilizers in the OECD," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 23, pages 715-756, October.
  14. Galí, Jordi & Perotti, Roberto, 2003. "Fiscal Policy and Monetary Integration in Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 3933, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Andrew Hughes Hallett & Moritz Kuhn & Thomas Warmedinger, 2012. "The gains from early intervention in Europe: Fiscal surveillance and fiscal planning using cash data," European Journal of Government and Economics, Europa Grande, vol. 1(1), pages 44-65, June.
  16. Jacopo Cimadomo, 2007. "Fiscal Policy in Real Time," Working Papers 2007-10, CEPII research center.
  17. 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.
  18. Andrew Hughes Hallett & Rasmus Kattai & John Lewis, 2012. "How Reliable Are Cyclically Adjusted Budget Balances In Real Time?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(1), pages 75-92, 01.
  19. Tilman Brück & Andreas Stephan, 2006. "Do Eurozone Countries Cheat with their Budget Deficit Forecasts?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 3-15, 02.
  20. Anthony Garratt & Shaun P Vahey, 2005. "UK Real-Time Macro Data Characteristics," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 0502, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
  21. John Lewis, 2013. "Fiscal policy in Central and Eastern Europe with real time data: cyclicality, inertia and the role of EU accession," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(23), pages 3347-3359, August.
  22. Dean Croushore & Tom Stark, 1999. "A real-time data set for macroeconomists," Working Papers 99-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  23. Tom Stark & Dean Croushore, 2001. "Forecasting with a real-time data set for macroeconomists," Working Papers 01-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  24. Roel Beetsma & Massimo Giuliodori & Peter Wierts, 2009. "Planning to cheat: EU fiscal policy in real time," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 24, pages 753-804, October.
  25. Michael Artis & Massimiliano Marcellino, 2001. "Fiscal forecasting: The track record of the IMF, OECD and EC," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 4(1), pages S20-S36.
  26. Roel Beetsma & Massimo Giuliodori & Mark Walschot & Peter Wierts, 2010. "Fifty Years of Fiscal Planning and Implementation in the Netherlands," DNB Working Papers 260, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  27. Jürgen Hagen, 2010. "Sticking to fiscal plans: the role of institutions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(3), pages 487-503, September.
  28. Giannone, Domenico & Henry, Jérôme & Lalik, Magdalena & Modugno, Michele, 2010. "An Area-Wide Real-Time Database for the Euro Area," CEPR Discussion Papers 7673, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  29. Lane, Philip R., 2003. "The cyclical behaviour of fiscal policy: evidence from the OECD," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2661-2675, December.
  30. Hagen, Jürgen von & Wolff, Guntram B., 2006. "What do deficits tell us about debt? Empirical evidence on creative accounting with fiscal rules in the EU," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 148, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  31. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 2002. "An Empirical Characterization of the Dynamic Effects of Changes in Government Spending and Taxes on Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1329-1368.
  32. 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.
  33. Ulf Von Kalckreuth & Guntram B. Wolff, 2011. "Identifying Discretionary Fiscal Policy Reactions with Real‐Time Data," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43(6), pages 1271-1285, 09.
  34. Francisco de Castro & Javier J. Pérez & Marta Rodríguez Vives, 2011. "Fiscal data revisions in Europe," Working Papers 1106, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
  35. Gernot Müller & Andre Meier & Giancarlo Corsetti, 2012. "What Determines Government Spending Multipliers?," IMF Working Papers 12/150, International Monetary Fund.
  36. Konstantin A. Kholodilin & Boriss Siliverstovs, 2009. "Do forecasters inform or reassure? Evaluation of the German real-time data," KOF Working papers 09-215, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  37. Bernoth, Kerstin & Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Lewis, John, 2008. "Did Fiscal Policy Makers Know What They Were Doing? Reassessing Fiscal Policy with Real Time Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 6758, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  38. Lane, Philip R, 2003. "Business Cycles and Macroeconomic Policy in Emerging Market Economies," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(1), pages 89-108, Spring.
  39. Roel Beetsma & Massimo Giuliodori, 2010. "Fiscal adjustment to cyclical developments in the OECD: an empirical analysis based on real-time data," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(3), pages 419-441, July.
  40. 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.
  41. S. Boragan Aruoba, 2008. "Data Revisions Are Not Well Behaved," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(2-3), pages 319-340, 03.
  42. Lars Jonung & Martin Larch, 2004. "Improving fiscal policy in the EU: the case for independent forecasts," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 210, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  43. Jacopo Cimadomo, 2005. "Has the Stability and Growth Pact Made Fiscal Policy More Pro-Cyclical?," La Lettre du CEPII, CEPII research center, issue 247.
  44. Fabrizio Balassone & Daniele Franco & Stefania Zotteri, 2007. "The Reliability of EMU FIscal Indicators: Risks and Safeguards," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 633, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  45. Lledó, Victor & Poplawski-Ribeiro, Marcos, 2013. "Fiscal Policy Implementation in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 79-91.
  46. Álvaro Pina & Nuno Venes, 2007. "The Political Economy of EDP Fiscal Forecasts: An Empirical Assessment," Working Papers Department of Economics 2007/23, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  47. Jordi GalÌ & Roberto Perotti, 2003. "Fiscal policy and monetary integration in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 18(37), pages 533-572, October.
  48. Álvaro M. Pina, 2009. "Elusive Counter-Cyclicality and Deliberate Opportunism? Fiscal Policy from Plans to Final Outcomes," Working Papers w200906, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  49. Barry Eichengreen & Charles Wyplosz, 1998. "The Stability Pact: more than a minor nuisance?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 13(26), pages 65-113, 04.
  50. Roberto Golinelli & Sandro Momigliano, 2009. "The Cyclical Reaction of Fiscal Policies in the Euro Area: The Role of Modelling Choices and Data Vintages," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 30(1), pages 39-72, 03.
  51. Holm-Hadulla, Fédéric & Hauptmeier, Sebastian & Rother, Philipp, 2010. "The impact of numerical expenditure rules on budgetary discipline over the cycle," Working Paper Series 1169, European Central Bank.
  52. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:11-25. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Beth Paul)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.