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Structural Balances and All That: Which Indicators to Use in Assessing Fiscal Policy

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  • Mr. Nigel A Chalk

Abstract

Structural indicators of a country's fiscal position are regularly used as estimates of both discretionary changes in fiscal policy and the effect of fiscal policy on aggregate demand. This paper looks at such indicators and evaluates, from a theoretical standpoint and from empirical case studies, their usefulness in measuring the size of discretionary policy action or fiscal demand stimulus. Two propositions are examined in detail: first, that the change in the primary structural balance provides a better indicator of discretionary fiscal policy than does the change in the primary balance; and second, that the change in the structural balance is a good indicator of the demand stimulus arising from changes in the fiscal position. In addition, the paper discusses measurement problems relating to structural balances and the use of the fiscal impulse as an alternative to structural balances.

Suggested Citation

  • Mr. Nigel A Chalk, 2002. "Structural Balances and All That: Which Indicators to Use in Assessing Fiscal Policy," IMF Working Papers 2002/101, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:2002/101
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Nizar, Muhammad Afdi, 2010. "Penentuan Efek Dan Arah Kebijakan Fiskal Pemerintah Indonesia: Fiscal Impulse Measure [Fiscal Policy Stance in Indonesia : Fiscal Impluse Measure]," MPRA Paper 65603, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Isabell Koske & Nigel Pain, 2008. "The Usefulness of Output Gaps for Policy Analysis," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 621, OECD Publishing.
    3. Luca Agnello & Jacopo Cimadomo, 2012. "Discretionary Fiscal Policies over the Cycle: New Evidence Based on the ESCB Disaggregated Approach," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 8(2), pages 43-85, June.
    4. He, Dong, 2003. "Budget Formulation and Implementation in Korea: A Macroeconomic Perspective," MPRA Paper 9756, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. International Monetary Fund, 2009. "New Zealand: Selected Issues," IMF Staff Country Reports 2009/146, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Lina María Vásquez & Luis Edgar Basto, 2004. "Balance estructural, dinámica y volatilidad de la deuda," Revista ESPE - Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, vol. 22(46-1), pages 26-81, December.
    7. Maria Neycheva, 2005. "The Impact of the Fisc on Macroeconomic Fluctuations in Bulgarian Economy," Economic Thought journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 3, pages 42-59.
    8. Renee Philip & John Janssen, 2002. "Indicators of Fiscal Impulse for New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 02/30, New Zealand Treasury.
    9. Mr. Evan C Tanner, 2003. "Fiscal Rules and Countercyclical Policy: Frank Ramsey Meets Gramm-Rudman-Hollings," IMF Working Papers 2003/220, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Nigel Stapledon, 2011. "The Benefits (and Costs) of Foresight and Hindsight in Macro Policy Formulation," Agenda - A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics, vol. 18(1), pages 41-52.
    11. P. Kiss, Gábor & Vadas, Gábor, 2005. "Légy résen! Az államháztartási egyenleg ciklikus igazítása [Be on your guard! Cyclically adjusted budget deficit]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(2), pages 109-129.
    12. Richard M. Bird, 2003. "Fiscal Flows, Fiscal Balance, and Fiscal Sustainability," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0302, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    13. Mr. Daniel S Kanda, 2011. "Modeling Optimal Fiscal Consolidation Paths in a Selection of European Countries," IMF Working Papers 2011/164, International Monetary Fund.
    14. Luca Agnello & Ricardo M. Sousa, 2014. "How Does Fiscal Consolidation Impact on Income Inequality?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(4), pages 702-726, December.
    15. Gómez Munoz, Wilman & Rhenals M., Remberto, 2007. "Un cálculo del déficit fiscal estructural: análisis y una propuesta metodológica," Perfil de Coyuntura Económica, Universidad de Antioquia, CIE, December.
    16. Gábor P. Kiss, 2007. "One-off and off-budget items: An alternative approach," MNB Conference Volume, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary), vol. 1(1), pages 18-27, December.
    17. Jeronimo Pastor & Alejandro Villagomez, 2007. "The structural budget balance: a preliminary estimation for Mexico," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(12), pages 1599-1607.
    18. International Monetary Fund, 2010. "Bosnia and Herzegovina: Selected Issues," IMF Staff Country Reports 2010/347, International Monetary Fund.
    19. Mr. Jeromin Zettelmeyer & Ivanna Vladkova Hollar, 2008. "Fiscal Positions in Latin America: Have They Really Improved?," IMF Working Papers 2008/137, International Monetary Fund.
    20. Tony McDonald & Yong Hong Yan & Blake Ford & David Stephan, 2010. "Estimating the structural budget balance of the Australian Government," Economic Roundup, The Treasury, Australian Government, issue 3, pages 51-79, October.
    21. John Thornton, 2007. "On The Cyclicality Of South African Fiscal Policy," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 75(2), pages 258-264, June.
    22. International Monetary Fund, 2010. "Guyana: Selected Issues," IMF Staff Country Reports 2010/293, International Monetary Fund.
    23. Mati, Amine & Thornton, John, 2008. "The exchange rate and fiscal consolidation episodes in emerging market economies," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 115-118, July.

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