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Stock-Flow Adjustments and Fiscal Transparency; A Cross-Country Comparison

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  • Anke Weber

Abstract

Over the past three decades, large and persistent discrepancies between the annual change in public debt and the budget deficit, so-called stock-flow adjustments, were a prominent feature of debt dynamics in many economies. The aim of this paper is to investigate the underlying determinants of such discrepancies and their relationship with fiscal transparency using data for 163 countries. Results show that such discrepancies can only be partly explained by balance sheet effects and the realization of contingent liabilities and that significant differences exist in average stock-flow adjustments across countries reflecting country-specific factors. The more fiscally transparent the country, the smaller these tend to be. The contribution of stock-flow adjustments to increases in debt is likewise smaller in countries with above average fiscal transparency. This may not be coincidental, as a lack of fiscal transparency may make it easier for governments to engage in deceptive fiscal stratagems.

Suggested Citation

  • Anke Weber, 2012. "Stock-Flow Adjustments and Fiscal Transparency; A Cross-Country Comparison," IMF Working Papers 12/39, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:12/39
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. International Monetary Fund, 2005. "Fiscal Transparency and Economic Outcomes," IMF Working Papers 05/225, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christopher Gandrud & Mark Hallerberg, 2015. "What is a Financial Crisis? Efficiently Measuring Real-Time Perceptions of Financial Market Stress with an Application to Financial Crisis Budget Cycles," CESifo Working Paper Series 5632, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Kayahan TÜM, 2015. "Investigating Frauds in Goverment Accounting," Asian Economic and Financial Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 5(6), pages 892-907, June.
    3. Maria Manuel Campos & Cristina Checherita-Westphal & Pascal Jacquinot & Pablo Burriel & Francesco Caprioli, 2019. "Economic consequences of high public debt and challenges ahead for the euro area," Working Papers o201904, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    4. Antonio Fatás & Atish R. Ghosh & Ugo Panizza & Andrea F Presbitero, 2019. "The Motives to Borrow," IMF Working Papers 19/101, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Reischmann, Markus, 2016. "Creative accounting and electoral motives: Evidence from OECD countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 243-257.
    6. Timothy C. Irwin, 2015. "Defining The Government'S Debt And Deficit," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(4), pages 711-732, September.
    7. Afonso, António & Jalles, João Tovar, 2020. "Stock flow adjustments in sovereign debt dynamics: The role of fiscal frameworks," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 1-16.
    8. António Afonso & José Alves, 2017. "Stock-Flow Adjustments and Interest Rates," Working Papers Department of Economics 2017/05, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
    9. Lorenzo Cicatiello & Elina Simone & Giuseppe Lucio Gaeta, 2017. "Political determinants of fiscal transparency: a panel data empirical investigation," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 315-336, November.
    10. Jaramillo, Laura & Mulas-Granados, Carlos & Kimani, Elijah, 2017. "Debt spikes and stock flow adjustments: Emerging economies in perspective," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 1-14.
    11. Wehner, Joachim & de Renzio, Paolo, 2013. "Citizens, Legislators, and Executive Disclosure: The Political Determinants of Fiscal Transparency," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 96-108.
    12. António Afonso & João Tovar Jalles, 2019. "Stock flow adjustments in sovereign debt dynamics: the role of fiscal frameworks," EconPol Working Paper 20, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    13. de Renzio, Paolo & Wehner, Joachim, 2017. "The impacts of fiscal openness," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 82521, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    14. Barry Eichengreen & Asmaa El-Ganainy & Rui Esteves & Kris James Mitchener, 2019. "Public Debt Through the Ages," NBER Working Papers 25494, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Janků, Jan & Libich, Jan, 2019. "Ignorance isn't bliss: Uninformed voters drive budget cycles," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 173(C), pages 21-43.
    16. Laura Jaramillo & Anke Weber, 2013. "Global Spillovers into Domestic Bond Markets in Emerging Market Economies," IMF Working Papers 13/264, International Monetary Fund.
    17. Maurer, Henri & Keweloh, Sascha, 2017. "Quality enhancements in Government Finance Statistics since the introduction of the euro - Econometric evidence," Statistics Paper Series 26, European Central Bank.
    18. Markus Reischmann, 2016. "Empirische Studien zu Staatsverschuldung und fiskalischen Transferzahlungen," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 63.
    19. Mike Seiferling, 2013. "Stock-Flow Adjustments, Government’s Integrated Balance Sheet and Fiscal Transparency," IMF Working Papers 13/63, International Monetary Fund.

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