Independent Fiscal Councils: Recent Trends and Performance


Roel M. W. J. Beetsma ; Xavier Debrun ; Xiangming Fang ; Young-Bae Kim ; Victor Duarte Lledo ; Samba Mbaye ; Xiaoxiao Zhang

Publication Date:

March 23, 2018

Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.


Countries increasingly rely on independent fiscal councils to constrain policymakers’ discretion and curb the bias towards excessive deficits and pro-cyclical policies. Since fiscal councils are often recent and heterogeneous across countries, assessing their impact is challenging. Using the latest (2016) vintage of the IMF Fiscal Council Dataset, we focus on two tasks expected to strengthen fiscal performance: the preparation or assessment of forecasts, and the monitoring of compliance with fiscal rules. Tentative econometric evidence suggests that the presence of a fiscal council is associated with more accurate and less optimistic fiscal forecasts, as well as greater compliance with fiscal rules.


Working Paper No. 2018/068



Publication Date:

March 23, 2018



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