OECD Journal on Budgeting

The OECD Journal on Budgeting is published three times per year. It draws on the best of the recent work of the OECD Working Party of Senior Budget Officials (SBO), as well as special contributions from finance ministries, academics and experts in the field and makes it available to a wider community in an accessible format. The journal provides insight on leading-edge institutional arrangements, systems and instruments for the allocation and management of resources in the public sector.

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Fiscal futures, institutional budget reforms, and their effects

What can be learned?

Long-term fiscal projections provide a basis to discuss the sustainability of current public policies over an extended period (ten years or more) against select fiscal indicator(s). They do so by modelling future government expenditures and revenues based upon a number of explicit demographic, macroeconomic, microeconomic, and other assumptions. Such projections have been considered best practice for budget/ fiscal transparency for nearly a decade, yet their use is still limited to a relatively small number of industrialised countries. This article extrapolates evidence from 12 OECD countries of the role of fiscal projections in balancing political pressures for short-term spending against fiscal pressures and risks over an extended time horizon. The article makes recommendations concerning three aspects of fiscal projections: their frequency; their analytical quality; and their institutional quality.


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