The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Expenditure in Iceland, especially related to the government wage bill, has tended to move in a procyclical manner, related to the fragmentation of political decision making. Iceland's elevated macroeconomic volatility reinforces these tendencies, as large booms unleash greater fiscal pressures as well as procyclical revenue elasticities that magnify these underlying strains. To improve its fiscal framework, Iceland could look to the experience of countries like Belgium and the Netherlands. In particular, it could adopt binding nominal expenditure rules, independent forecasts, and use representative committees to lay out medium-term targets across different levels of government.