What are Fiscal Councils? Fiscal councils are often non-partisan, technical bodies entrusted as a public finance watchdog to strengthen credibility of fiscal policies with a variety of mandates. In this dataset, fiscal council is defined as a permanent agency with a statutory or executive mandate to assess publicly and independently from partisan influence government’s fiscal policies, plans and performance against macroeconomic objectives related to the long-term sustainability of public finances, short-medium-term macroeconomic stability, and other official objectives (IMF 2013). The dataset focuses on the de jure arrangements and not to what degree those arrangements have been adhered to in practice.

About this Dataset: The Fiscal Council Dataset describes key features of 51 institutions in 49 countries that are identified as fiscal councils across the IMF membership as of 2021. The 2021 Update Fiscal Council dataset builds on the previous 2016 version prepared by Debrun, Zhang, and Lledó (2017). The current dataset reflects the latest developments (including those observed during the pandemic), broadens the country coverage, and enhances data quality. The dataset includes general information such as the official name and acronym of the council and the date of creation or major reforms, the main features of the council's remit, their specific tasks and instruments to influence the conduct of fiscal policy as well as key institutional characteristics such as the existence of formal guarantees of independence, accountability requirements, and human resources.

The Technical Manual "The Fiscal Council Dataset: The 2021 Update" by Hamid Davoodi, Paul Elger, Alexandra Fotiou, Daniel Garcia-Macia, Andresa Lagerborg, Raphael Lam, and Sharanya Pillai (2022) provides the list and definition of variables included in the dataset.

Suggested citation: Davoodi, Hamid, Paul Elger, Alexandra Fotiou, Daniel Garcia-Macia, Andresa Lagerborg, Raphael Lam, and Sharanya Pillai. 2022. "Fiscal Councils Dataset: The 2021 Update", International Monetary Fund, Washington, D.C.

Contact: The dataset is maintained by the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department. It is an ongoing project and we welcome comments on the data, including suggestions to enhance coverage. Please send your queries or comments to IMFFISCALRULES@imf.org.

Previous Vintage: 2016 Fiscal Council Dataset, (Debrun, Zhang, and Lledó, 2017)


Fiscal Councils Around the World, 2021
Fiscal Councils in Europe, 2021