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Authorities’ fiscal forecasts in Latin America: are they optimistic?

Hadzi-Vaskov, Metodij, Ricci, Luca Antonio, Werner, Alejandro Mariano and Zamarripa, Rene (2023) Authorities’ fiscal forecasts in Latin America: are they optimistic? Economía, 22 (1). 135 – 152. ISSN 1529-7470

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Identification Number: 10.31389/eco.416


Do governments in Latin America tend to be optimistic when preparing budgetary projections? We address this question by constructing a novel dataset of the authorities’ fiscal forecasts in six Latin American economies, using data from annual budget documents over the period 2000–2018. We compare such forecasts with the outturns reported in the corresponding budget documents of the following years, to understand the evolution of fiscal forecast errors. Our findings suggest that: (i) there is no general optimistic bias in the forecasts for the fiscal balance-to-GDP ratio; (ii) over time, fiscal forecasts have improved for some countries and worsened for others; (iii) forecast errors for the fiscal balance-to-GDP ratio are positively correlated with GDP growth and terms-of-trade changes, and negatively correlated with GDP deflator surprises; (iv) forecast errors for public debt-to-GDP ratios are negatively associated with surprises to GDP growth; and (v), budget balance rules may help contain fiscal forecast errors.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s)
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
JEL classification: H - Public Economics > H5 - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies > H50 - General
E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics > E6 - Macroeconomic Policy Formation, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, Macroeconomic Policy, and General Outlook > E60 - General
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2023 15:54
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2024 20:27

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