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Real-time macro monitoring and fiscal policy

  • Ley, Eduardo
  • Misch, Florian

This paper considers the effects of inaccurate real-time output data on fiscal management, both with respect to budgetary planning and fiscal surveillance. As newer and better information becomes available, output data available in real time get revised and are likely to conflict with final figures that are only released some years later. Nevertheless, fiscal policy needs to be inevitably based on real-time figures. The paper develops a simple modeling framework to formalize these linkages and combines it with a newly compiled dataset from the International Monetary Fund's World Economic Outlook, comprising final and real-time output data for 175 countries, over a period of 17 years. We simulate the effects of output revisions on revisions of the overall balance, the structural balance and debt accumulation. It finds that output revisions may have substantial effects on the ability of governments to correctly estimate the overall balance and the structural fiscal balance in real time, and that the effects may imply substantial debt accumulation.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6303.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6303
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  1. Athanasios Orphanides & Simon van Norden, 1999. "The Reliability of Output Gap Estimates in Real Time," Macroeconomics 9907006, EconWPA.
  2. Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2011. "Over-optimism in Forecasts by Official Budget Agencies and its Implications," Scholarly Articles 8705906, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  3. Dean Croushore, 2011. "Frontiers of Real-Time Data Analysis," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(1), pages 72-100, March.
  4. Allan Timmermann, 2007. "An Evaluation of the World Economic Outlook Forecasts," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 54(1), pages 1-33, May.
  5. Leal, Teresa & Pérez, Javier J. & Tujula, Mika & Vidal, Jean-Pierre, 2007. "Fiscal forecasting: lessons from the literature and challenges," Working Paper Series 0843, European Central Bank.
  6. Cimadomo, Jacopo, 2011. "Real-time data and fiscal policy analysis: a survey of the literature," Working Paper Series 1408, European Central Bank.
  7. Shamsuddin Tareq & Andrew Berg & Victor Duarte Lledo & Antonio Spilimbergo & Rolando Ossowski & Irene Yackovlev & Norbert Funke & Alejandro Hajdenberg & Martin Schindler, 2009. "Fiscal Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa in Response to the Impact of the Global Crisis," IMF Staff Position Notes 2009/10, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Auerbach, Alan J, 1995. "Tax Projections and the Budget: Lessons from the 1980's," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 165-69, May.
  9. Pina, Álvaro M. & Venes, Nuno M., 2011. "The political economy of EDP fiscal forecasts: An empirical assessment," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 534-546, September.
  10. Frank-Oliver Aldenhoff, 2007. "Are economic forecasts of the International Monetary Fund politically biased? A public choice analysis," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 239-260, September.
  11. Sven Langedijk & Martin Larch, 2007. "Testing the EU fiscal surveillance: How sensitive is it to variations in output gap estimates?," European Economy - Economic Papers 285, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  12. Athanasios Orphanides, 1998. "Monetary policy rules based on real-time data," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-03, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  13. Victor Duarte Lledo & Marcos Poplawski-Ribeiro, 2011. "Fiscal Policy Implementation in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Working Papers 11/172, International Monetary Fund.
  14. Ildeberta Abreu, 2011. "International organisations’ vs. private analysts’ growth forecasts: an evaluation," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  15. Francisco de Castro & Javier J. Pérez & Marta Rodríguez Vives, 2011. "Fiscal data revisions in Europe," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 1106, Banco de Espa�a.
  16. Andrew Hughes Hallett & Rasmus Kattai & John Lewis, 2012. "How Reliable Are Cyclically Adjusted Budget Balances In Real Time?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(1), pages 75-92, 01.
  17. Marcellino, Massimiliano & Musso, Alberto, 2011. "The reliability of real-time estimates of the euro area output gap," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 1842-1856, July.
  18. Roel Beetsma & Benjamin Bluhm & Massimo Giuliodori & Peter Wierts, 2013. "From Budgetary Forecasts To Ex Post Fiscal Data: Exploring The Evolution Of Fiscal Forecast Errors In The European Union," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(4), pages 795-813, October.
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