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Fiscal Consolidation: Part 3. Long-Run Projections and Fiscal Gap Calculations

Author

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  • Rossana Merola

    (OECD)

  • Douglas Sutherland

    (OECD)

Abstract

During the economic and financial crisis, fiscal positions across the OECD countries deteriorated sharply. This raises the question of what level of primary deficit would ensure long-term sustainability and what degree of consolidation is needed. The purpose of this paper is to gauge the scale of fiscal consolidation that will be needed to ensure long-term sustainability. The analysis uses so-called fiscal gaps to provide a simple metric for how much consolidation is needed under a series of different assumptions and scenarios. The aim is to highlight the scale of the problems, how they differ across countries and the uncertainties surrounding the estimates. A first set of results suggest that lower debt targets provide greater room for manoeuvre to react to shocks in the future. A second set of results shows that growth-enhancing structural reforms �| especially reforms of pension systems �| can mitigate budget pressures resulting from ageing populations and hence contribute to fiscal consolidation. Furthermore, raising efficiency in the provision of health care and education can reduce budgetary pressures. Finally, achieving debt objectives under shocks to interest rates or to government spending would require additional tightening in most of the OECD countries. Consolidation budgétaire: Partie 3. Projections à long terme et calcul des écarts budgétaires Durant la crise économique et financière, la position budgétaire des pays de l’OCDE s’est nettement dégradée. La question se pose dès lors de savoir quel niveau de déficit primaire assurerait la viabilité à long terme et quel degré d’assainissement est nécessaire. Ce document a pour objet d’évaluer l’ampleur de l’effort de consolidation budgétaire à consentir pour assurer la viabilité à long terme. L’analyse s’appuie sur les « écarts budgétaires », qui permettent de mesurer simplement l’ampleur de l’assainissement nécessaire suivant divers scénarios et hypothèses. L’objectif est de mettre en lumière l’échelle des problèmes, les différences qui existent d’un pays à l’autre et les incertitudes qui entourent les estimations. Une première série de résultats semble indiquer que des objectifs de dette plus bas offrent une plus grande marge de manoeuvre pour réagir aux chocs dans l’avenir. Une seconde série de résultats montre que des réformes structurelles propres à renforcer la croissance – en particulier les réformes des systèmes de retraite – peuvent atténuer les pressions budgétaires dues aux vieillissement des populations et, partant, contribuer à l’assainissement des finances publiques. Par ailleurs, rehausser l’efficience dans la prestation de services de santé et d’éducation peut atténuer les pressions budgétaires. Enfin, des chocs affectant les taux d’intérêt ou les dépenses publiques nécessiteraient un resserrement budgétaire plus sévère dans la plupart des pays de l’OCDE.

Suggested Citation

  • Rossana Merola & Douglas Sutherland, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation: Part 3. Long-Run Projections and Fiscal Gap Calculations," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 934, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:934-en
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5k9h28p42pf1-en
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    Cited by:

    1. Dieppe, Alistair & Mourinho Félix, Ricardo & Marchiori, Luca & Grech, Owen & Albani, Maria & Other contributors & Kulikov, Dmitry & Papadopoulou, Niki & Sideris, Dimitris & Irac, Delphine & Gordo Mora, 2015. "Public debt, population ageing and medium-term growth," Occasional Paper Series 165, European Central Bank.
    2. Robert A Buckle & Amy A Cruickshank, 2013. "The Requirements for Long-Run Fiscal Sustainability," Treasury Working Paper Series 13/20, New Zealand Treasury.
    3. Romain Bouis & Ane Kathrine Christensen & Boris Cournède, 2013. "Deleveraging: Challenges, Progress and Policies," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1077, OECD Publishing.
    4. Artzrouni, Marc & Tramontana, Fabio, 2013. "The debt trap: a two-compartment train wreck," MPRA Paper 47578, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Gabriela Lopes de Castro & Ricardo Mourinho Félix & Paulo Júlio & José R. Maria, 2013. "Fiscal multipliers in a small euro area economy: How big can they get in crisis times?," Working Papers w201311, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    6. Åsa Johansson & Yvan Guillemette & Fabrice Murtin & David Turner & Giuseppe Nicoletti & Christine de la Maisonneuve & Philip Bagnoli & Guillaume Bousquet & Francesca Spinelli, 2013. "Long-Term Growth Scenarios," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1000, OECD Publishing.
    7. Rossana Merola & Douglas Sutherland, 2013. "Fiscal Consolidation and the Implications of Social Spending for Long-Term Fiscal Sustainability," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 4(3).
    8. David Gruen & Duncan Spender, 2012. "A Decade of Intergenerational Reports: Contributing to Long-Term Fiscal Sustainability," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 45(3), pages 327-334, September.
    9. Douglas Sutherland & Peter Hoeller & Rossana Merola, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation: How Much, How Fast and by What Means?," OECD Economic Policy Papers 1, OECD Publishing.
    10. Haffert, Lukas, 2016. "Permanent budget surpluses as a fiscal regime," MPIfG Discussion Paper 16/1, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    11. Falilou Fall & Debra Bloch & Jean-Marc Fournier & Peter Hoeller, 2015. "Prudent debt targets and fiscal frameworks," OECD Economic Policy Papers 15, OECD Publishing.
    12. Castro, Gabriela & Maria, José R. & Félix, Ricardo Mourinho & Braz, Cláudia Rodrigues, 2017. "Aging And Fiscal Sustainability In A Small Euro Area Economy," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(07), pages 1673-1705, October.
    13. Galo Nuño & Cristina Pulido & Rubén Segura-Cayuela, 2012. "Long-run growth and demographic prospects in advanced economies," Occasional Papers 1206, Banco de España;Occasional Papers Homepage.
    14. repec:ecb:ecbops:2014165 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Douglas Sutherland & Peter Hoeller & Rossana Merola, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation: Part 1. How Much is Needed and How to Reduce Debt to a Prudent Level?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 932, OECD Publishing.
    16. Artzrouni, Marc & Tramontana, Fabio, 2014. "The debt trap: A two-compartment train wreck… and how to avoid it," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 241-256.
    17. Ondra Kamenik & Zdenek Tuma & David Vavra & Zuzana Smidova, 2013. "A Simple Fiscal Stress Testing Model: Case Studies of Austrian, Czech and German Economies," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1074, OECD Publishing.
    18. Sutherland, Douglas, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation Needs and Implications for Growth," MPRA Paper 38745, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Szilárd Benk & Zoltán M. Jakab, 2012. "Non-Keynesian Effects of Fiscal Consolidation: An Analysis with an Estimated DSGE Model for the Hungarian Economy," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 945, OECD Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    ageing populations; consolidation budgétaire; dépenses sociales publiques; fiscal consolidation; long-term projections; long-term public finance sustainability; projections à long terme; public social expenditure; viabilité des finances publiques à long terme; vieillissement de la population;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • 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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