A Modern History of Fiscal Prudence and Profligacy

Author/Editor:

Ariel J Binder ; Asad Zaman ; Paolo Mauro ; Rafael Romeu

Publication Date:

January 9, 2013

Electronic Access:

Free Full text (PDF file size is 892 KB).Use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this PDF file

Link to data for this title(ZIP file size is 681 KB).

Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate

Summary:

We draw on a newly collected historical dataset of fiscal variables for a large panel of countries—to our knowledge, the most comprehensive database currently available—to gauge the degree of fiscal prudence or profligacy for each country over the past several decades. Specifically, our dataset consists of fiscal revenues, primary expenditures, the interest bill (and thus both the primary and the overall fiscal deficit), the government debt, and gross domestic product, for 55 countries for up to two hundred years. For the first time, a large cross country historical data set covers both fiscal stocks and flows. Using Bohn’s (1998) approach and other tests for fiscal sustainability, we document how the degree of prudence or profligacy varies significantly over time within individual countries. We find that such variation is driven in part by unexpected changes in potential economic growth and sovereign borrowing costs.

Series:

Working Paper No. 13/5

Subject:

Notes:

View Electronic Chartbook for this titlePublic Finances in Modern History Database

English

Publication Date:

January 9, 2013

ISBN/ISSN:

9781616357825/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2013005

Price:

$18.00 (Academic Rate:$18.00)

Format:

Paper

Pages:

53

Please address any questions about this title to publications@imf.org