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The Structural Budget Balance The IMF’s Methodology


  • Robert P. Hagemann


This paper describes the methodology used by the IMF staff to calculate the structural budget balance, estimates of which are published regularly in the IMF’s World Economic Outlook. The structural budget balance is the government’s actual fiscal position purged of the estimated budgetary consequences of the business cycle, and is designed in part to provide an indication of the medium-term orientation of fiscal policy. Interpretation of the structural budget balance requires caution in several respects, however, some of which are reviewed in the paper. The paper then considers briefly the potential usefulness of the structural budget balance as a tool for enforcement--under the Stability and Growth Pact--of the European Economic and Monetary Union reference value on the deficit specified in the Maastricht Treaty.

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  • Robert P. Hagemann, 1999. "The Structural Budget Balance The IMF’s Methodology," IMF Working Papers 99/95, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:99/95

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hernan Rincon Castro & Jennyberthel & Miguelgomez, 2003. "Balance Fiscalestructural Y Cíclico Del Gobierno Nacional Central De Colombia,1980-2002," ENSAYOS SOBRE POLÍTICA ECONÓMICA, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA - ESPE, vol. 21(44), pages 12-62, December.
    2. Pilar Poncela & Eva Senra & Daniel Sotelsek & Guido Zack, 2014. "Some New Results on the Estimation of Structural Budget Balance for Spain," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 210(3), pages 11-31, September.
    3. Juan Carlos Chávez Martín del Campo & Ricardo Rodríguez Vargas & Felipe de Jesús Fonseca Hernández, 2010. "Vacas gordas y vacas flacas: la política fiscal y el balance estructural en México, 1990-2009," Estudios Económicos, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos, vol. 25(2), pages 309-336.
    4. Mark Weisbrot & Juan Antonio Montecino, 2010. "Alternatives to Fiscal Austerity in Spain," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2010-18, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
    5. Zaki, Mokhlis Y., 2001. "IMF-Supported Stabilization Programs and their Critics: Evidence from the Recent Experience of Egypt," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 1867-1883, November.
    6. International Monetary Fund, 2004. "Republic of Latvia; Selected Issues," IMF Staff Country Reports 04/261, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Natalia SALAZAR & Diego PRADA, 2003. "El balance estructural del Gobierno Central en Colombia," ARCHIVOS DE ECONOMÍA 002456, DEPARTAMENTO NACIONAL DE PLANEACIÓN.
    8. Benz, Ulrich & Hagist, Christian, 2008. "Technischer Anhang zu "Konjunktur und Generationenbilanz: Eine Analyse anhand des HP-Filters"," FZG Discussion Papers 23, University of Freiburg, Research Center for Generational Contracts (FZG).
    9. Alain Geier, 2012. "Application of the Swiss Fiscal Rule to Artificial Data: A Monte Carlo Simulation," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 148(I), pages 37-55, March.
    10. Martín Ardanaz & Ana Corbacho & Alberto Gonzales & Nuria Tolsa Caballero, 2015. "Structural Fiscal Balances in Latin America and the Caribbean: New Dataset and Estimations," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 89816, Inter-American Development Bank.
    11. World Bank & Inter-American Development Bank, 2003. "Restoring Fiscal Discipline for Poverty Reduction in Peru : A Public Expenditure Review," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15118, June.
    12. Mario Marcel C. & Marcelo Tokman R. & Rodrigo Valdés P. & Paula Benavides S., 2001. "Structural budget balance: the pilar of the new chilean fiscal policy rule," Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 4(3), pages 15-27, December.
    13. Martín Ardanaz & Ana Corbacho & Alberto Gonzales & Nuria Tolsa Caballero, 2015. "Structural Fiscal Balances in Latin America and the Caribbean: New Dataset and Estimations," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6989, Inter-American Development Bank.
    14. Arjocu Ana-Maria & Dronca Alexandru, 2015. "Measuring The Structural Budget Deficit In The European Union," Annals - Economy Series, Constantin Brancusi University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1, pages 147-153, February.
    15. Marcel, Mario, 2001. "Balance Estructural del Gobierno Central. Metodología y Estimaciones para Chile
      [Structural Bazlance of Central Government. Methodology and estimates for Chile]
      ," MPRA Paper 43338, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Jeronimo Zettelmeyer & Ivanna Vladkova Hollar, 2008. "Fiscal Positions in Latin America; Have They Really Improved?," IMF Working Papers 08/137, International Monetary Fund.
    17. Ortiz, Alberto & Pablo, Ottonello & Sturzenegger, Federico & Talvi, Ernesto, 2007. "Monetary and Fiscal Policies in a Sudden Stop: Is Tighter Brighter?," Working Paper Series rwp07-057, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    18. Nigel A Chalk, 2002. "Structural Balances and All That; Which Indicators to Use in Assessing Fiscal Policy," IMF Working Papers 02/101, International Monetary Fund.


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