Restoring Public Debt SustainabilityThe Role of Independent Fiscal Institutions

Restoring Public Debt SustainabilityThe Role of Independent Fiscal Institutions

George Kopits

Print publication date: 2014

ISBN: 9780199644476

Publisher: Oxford University Press


The volume, the first on this topic, is intended to meet widespread and growing interest in a new generation of independent fiscal institutions, established—in the shadow of the recent financial crisis and the concomitant buildup in public indebtedness—to promote transparency and accountability of government policymaking to citizens and to financial markets. It offers a compilation of studies written from a multidisciplinary (economic, financial, political, legal) perspective, intended for academics, researchers, and practitioners alike. Country experiences have been selected on the basis of their diversity.The first part of the book deals with key analytical and institutional issues: the political environment, the scope and limits of these institutions, and a comparison to delegation of monetary policymaking to an independent body. The concluding chapter explores the potential impact of such institution in containing the rise in government debt. The second part contains case studies of institutions that were born as a result of domestic developments. In the United States and Canada, the triggering events were political in nature. In the Netherlands and Belgium, they evolved in the context of long-established institutions endowed with a broad policy advisory role. The third part presents the experience of institutions in Sweden, Hungary, and the United Kingdom, whose origins can be traced directly or indirectly to an earlier or a recent external financial crisis. In addition, it includes a chapter on Italy where the design of an institution is under way

Table of Contents

1 Introduction and Overview

George Kopits *

Part I Analytical and Institutional Issues

Part II Experience of Internally-Driven Institutions

6 United States: Pioneer in Fiscal Surveillance

C. Eugene Steuerle and Stephanie Rennane *

9 Canada: Oversight with Qualified Independence

Kevin Page and Tolga R. Yalkin *

Part III Experience and Outlook for Crisis-Driven Institutions

11 Hungary: A Short-Lived Fiscal Watchdog

George Kopits and Balázs Romhányi *

13 Italy: What Role for an Independent Fiscal Institution?

Fabrizio Balassone, Daniele Franco, and Chiara Goretti *