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Accounting for One-off Operations when Assessing Underlying Fiscal Positions
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- Isabelle Joumard1, Makoto Minegishi1, Christophe André1, Chantal Nicq1, Robert W. R. Price1
- Author Affiliations
- 1: OECD, France
- 30 Sep 2008
- Bibliographic information
Frequent recourse to large one-off operations in a number of OECD countries has undermined the accuracy of cyclically adjusted fiscal balances as a measure of both the sustainability of public finance and the fiscal stance. This paper first provides detailed information on the nature and amount of these one-offs for 9 OECD countries. The paper then presents a new indicator – the “underlying” fiscal balance – which effectively eliminates the impact of one-offs and cyclical developments. One-offs are derived as the deviations from trend in net capital transfers, i.e. from widely available national account data. This approach provides a consistent treatment of one-offs both across countries and over time, avoiding the potential information biases which could result from an individual identification of one-offs.
- fiscal balances, cyclically-adjusted budget balance
- JEL Classification:
- E62: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics / Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook / Fiscal Policy
- H30: Public Economics / Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents / General
- H60: Public Economics / National Budget, Deficit, and Debt / General