FIRSTRUN deliverable 5.2: Formulating and evaluating long-term fiscal rules based on the Medium-Term Budgetary Objective has been published.
The paper considers fiscal rules for Finland that are explicitly based on the Medium-Term Budgetary Objective (MTO) and aim at keeping public finances sustainable in the long run. We use a general equilibrium overlapping-generations model to study fiscal rules where consumption taxes are conditioned on observed and forecasted variables related to the MTO. The uncertainties considered include future demographics, productivity, and asset yields. We find that a rule based directly on the ‘implicit liabilities and debt’ part of the MTO keeps public debt at roughly acceptable levels. The rule, however, would work better, especially in timing the measures, if structural deficits would exclude social security funds. We also find that the MTO contains forecast elements that could be left out without essentially weakening the rule. Finally, additional forecast-based information is likely to improve the rule.
Jukka Lassila, ETLA