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The impact of forecast errors on fiscal planning and debt accumulation

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  • Ademmer, Martin
  • Boysen-Hogrefe, Jens

Abstract

We investigate the impact of errors in medium run tax revenue forecasts on the final budget balance. Our analysis is based on fiscal data for the entirety of German states and takes advantage of revenue forecasts and respective errors that can be considered as exogenously given in the budgeting process. We find that forecast errors at various forecast horizons translate considerably into the final budget balance, indicating that expenditure plans get only marginally adjusted when revenue forecasts get revised. Consequently, the accuracy of medium run forecasts considerably affects the sustainability of public finances. Our calculations suggest that a significant share of total debt of German states results from revenue forecasts that were too optimistic.

Suggested Citation

  • Ademmer, Martin & Boysen-Hogrefe, Jens, 2019. "The impact of forecast errors on fiscal planning and debt accumulation," Kiel Working Papers 2123, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwkwp:2123
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Boysen-Hogrefe, Jens & Felbermayr, Gabriel & Kooths, Stefan & Laaser, Claus-Friedrich & Rosenschon, Astrid & Stolzenburg, Ulrich, 2020. "Finanzpolitik mit Weitblick ausrichten," Kieler Beiträge zur Wirtschaftspolitik 30, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal policy; fiscal planning; medium run forecasting; budget balance; public debt;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H61 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Budget; Budget Systems
    • H68 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Forecasts of Budgets, Deficits, and Debt

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