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.
Andrea Pescatori, Daniel Leigh, Jaime Guajardo, and Pete Devries
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
This paper presents a new dataset of fiscal consolidation for 17 OECD economies during 1978-2009. We focus on discretionary changes in taxes and government spending primarily motivated by a desire to reduce the budget deficit and not by a response to prospective economic conditions. To identify the motivation and budgetary impact of the fiscal policy changes, we examine contemporaneous policy documents, including Budgets, Budget Speeches, central bank reports, Convergence and Stability Programs submitted by the authorities to the European Commission, and IMF and OECD reports. The resulting series can be used to estimate the macroeconomic effects of fiscal consolidation.