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Theoretical foundations of fiscal gap as a long-term fiscal sustainability indicator and its estimates for Russia

Author

Listed:
  • Evgeny Goryunov

    (Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy)

  • Sergey Sinelnikov-Murylev

    (Russian Foreign Trade Academy)

  • Laurence J. Kotlikoff

    (Boston University)

Abstract

Fiscal gap is an indicator of long run sustainability of government finance. It is used for assessment of the extent to which current fiscal policy is able to keep government budget solvent in the longer period. Fiscal gap is derived from intertemporal budget constraint which connects flows of budget outlays and receipts aggregated along decades. Fiscal gap is defined as a sum of current government debt and present value of future primary deficit flow. In order to get an estimate of Russia’s general government fiscal gap we consider three scenarios which are based on different assumptions regarding demographic trends, productivity growth, extractable reserves of oil and natural gas, long term price of oil and natural gas etc. Estimated value of fiscal gap is positive in all three scenarios which implies that current fiscal policy cannot provide budget sustainability in the long run. There are two major factors of the budget imbalances: rising health and pension expenditures due to demographics trends and shrinking role of tax revenues from energy sector due to extraction stagnation. Fiscal gap value under intermediate scenario is equal to 1613 trln 2014 rubles or 13,6% of present value of GDP which is close to fiscal gap in several advanced economies. This study is an extension of (Goryunov et al., 2013) one made by a group of authors headed by Laurence J. Kotlikoff.

Suggested Citation

  • Evgeny Goryunov & Sergey Sinelnikov-Murylev & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 2015. "Theoretical foundations of fiscal gap as a long-term fiscal sustainability indicator and its estimates for Russia," Working Papers 0113, Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, revised 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:gai:wpaper:0113
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    fiscal gap; fiscal sustainability; fiscal policy; budget constraints; budget sustainability;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
    • H68 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Forecasts of Budgets, Deficits, and Debt
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts

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