Front Matter

Front Matter

George Kopits, and Steven Symansky
Published Date:
July 1998
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    © 1998 International Monetary Fund

    Production: IMF Graphics Section

    Charts: Sanaa Elaroussi

    Typesetting: Victor Barcelona

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    Kopits, George

    Fiscal policy rules / George Kopits and Steven Symansky. 2 p. cm. — (Occasional paper / International Monetary Fund : 162) Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 1-55775-704-6

    1. Fiscal Policy. I. Symansky, Steven A. II. International Monetary Fund III. Title. IV. Series: Occasional paper (International Monetary Fund) ; no. 162.

    HJ192.5.K66 1998 98-7449

    336.3—dc21 CIP

    Price: US$18.00 (US$15.00 to full-time faculty members and students at universities and colleges)

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    I Introduction

    II Rationale and Institutions

    III Economic Effects

    IV Evaluation of Fiscal Rules

    V Summary and Conclusions


    I Major Fiscal Policy Rules

    II Macroeconomic Effects of Fiscal Restraint

    III Stochastic Simulations of Fiscal Rules

















    The following symbols have been used throughout this paper:

    • … to indicate that data are not available;

    • n.a. not applicable;

    • — to indicate that the figure is zero or less than half the final digit shown, or that the item does not exist;

    • – between years or months (e.g., 1994–95 or January–June) to indicate the years or months covered, including the beginning and ending years or months;

    • / between years (e.g., 1994/95) to indicate a crop or fiscal (financial) year.

    • “Billion” means a thousand million.

    • Minor discrepancies between constituent figures and totals are due to rounding.

    • The term “country,” as used in this paper, does not in all cases refer to a territorial entity that is a state as understood by international law and practice; the term also covers some territorial entities that are not states, but for which statistical data are maintained and provided internationally on a separate and independent basis.


    This paper was prepared by George Kopits, Assistant Director, and Steven Symansky, Deputy Division Chief, of the International Monetary Fund’s Fiscal Affairs Department. They wish to acknowledge contributions by colleagues in the department’s Fiscal Analysis Division, especially Etienne de Callatay, as well as comments by many colleagues throughout the IMF. In particular, useful suggestions were provided by Stanley Fischer, Peter Heller, Flemming Larsen, and Vito Tanzi. The paper has also benefited from discussions held with staff of the European Commission. The authors are indebted to Diana Ellyn and Beulah David for secretarial assistance, to Diane Cross for editorial support, and to Rozlyn Coleman for editing the final version. J.R. Morrison of the External Relations Department coordinated production of the publication.

    An earlier draft of the paper was discussed by the Executive Board in October 1997. The present version incorporates the comments received on that occasion. However, the opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Executive Directors, the management, or the staff of the International Monetary Fund.

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