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.
Nicoletta Batini, Julia Guerreiro, and Giovanni Callegari
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
This paper updates existing measures of the U.S. fiscal gap to include federal laws up to and including the mid-December 2010 federal fiscal stimulus. It then applies the methodology of generational accounting to establish how the burden of adjustment required to attain fiscal sustainability is shared across generations. We find that the U.S. fiscal and generational imbalances are large under plausible parametric assumptions, and, while not much affected by the financial crisis, they have not improved much by the passing of the Final Healthcare Legislation. We find that, under our baseline scenario, a full elimination of the fiscal and generational imbalances would require all taxes to go up and all transfers to be cut immediately and permanently by 35 percent. A delay in the adjustment makes it more costly.