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Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, João Tovar Jalles, Mr. Carlos Mulas-Granados, and Michela Schena
This paper analyses the causes and consequences of fiscal consolidation promise gaps, defined as the distance between planned fiscal adjustments and actual consolidations. Using 74 consolidation episodes derived from the narrative approach in 17 advanced economies during 1978 – 2015, the paper shows that promise gaps were sizeable (about 0.3 percent of GDP per year, or 1.1 percent of GDP during an average fiscal adjustment episode). Both economic and political factors explain the gaps: for example, greater electoral proximity, stronger political cohesion and higher accountability were all associated with smaller promise gaps. Finally, governments which delivered on their fiscal consolidation plans were rewarded by financial markets and not penalized by voters.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper elaborates findings and discussions of 2013 Cluster Consultation Nordic Regional report. The countries have close economic and financial ties and face some common challenges and shared risks, such as large banking sectors and high household debt. The economic performance of the four continental Nordic economies (Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden—Nordic-4) ranks among the advanced economic development circle. It is analyzed that the large Nordic banking systems support relatively high levels of private sector debt. House price developments in the Nordic-4 pose a risk to broader macroeconomic stability in the context of strained household balance sheets.
Mr. Jesus R Gonzalez-Garcia and Mr. Gonzalo C Pastor Campos
This paper examines the usefulness of testing the conformity of macroeconomic data with Benford's law as indicator of data quality. Most of the macroeconomic data series tested conform with Benford's law. However, questions emerge on the reliability of such tests as indicators of data quality once conformity with Benford's law is contrasted with the data quality ratings included in the data module of the Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes (data ROSCs). Furthermore, the analysis shows that rejection of Benford's law may be unrelated to the quality of statistics, and instead may result from marked structural shifts in the data series. Hence, nonconformity with Benford's law should not be interpreted as a reliable indication of poor quality in macroeconomic data.
Ms. Anastasia Guscina
The past two decades have seen a decline in labor's share of national income in several industrial countries. This paper analyzes the role of three factors in explaining movements in labor's share--factor-biased technological progress, openness to trade, and changes in employment protection--using a panel of 18 industrial countries over 1960-2000. Since most studies suggest that globalization and rapid technological progress (associated with accelerated information technology development) began in the mid-1980s, the sample is split in 1985 into preglobalization/pre-IT revolution and postglobalization/post-IT revolution eras. The results suggest that the decline in labor's share during the past few decades in the OECD member countries may have been largely an equilibrium, rather than a cyclical, phenomenon, as the distribution of national income between labor and capital adjusted to capital-augmenting technological progress and a more globalized world economy.
International Monetary Fund

This Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes data module provides an assessment of Finland’s macroeconomic statistics against the Special Data Dissemination Standard complemented by an assessment of data quality based on the IMF’s Data Quality Assessment Framework, July 2003. The report reveals that Finland’s macroeconomic statistics are of generally high quality. They are adequate to conduct effective surveillance. Finland’s statistical managers are highly aware of all dimensions of quality. However, some shortcomings may detract from the accurate and timely analysis of economic and financial developments and the formulation of appropriate policy.

International Monetary Fund

This Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes data module provides an assessment of Finland’s macroeconomic statistics against the Special Data Dissemination Standard complemented by an assessment of data quality based on the IMF’s Data Quality Assessment Framework, July 2003. The report reveals that Finland’s macroeconomic statistics are of generally high quality. They are adequate to conduct effective surveillance. Finland’s statistical managers are highly aware of all dimensions of quality. However, some shortcomings may detract from the accurate and timely analysis of economic and financial developments and the formulation of appropriate policy.

International Monetary Fund
This Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes data module provides an assessment of Finland’s macroeconomic statistics against the Special Data Dissemination Standard complemented by an assessment of data quality based on the IMF’s Data Quality Assessment Framework, July 2003. The report reveals that Finland’s macroeconomic statistics are of generally high quality. They are adequate to conduct effective surveillance. Finland’s statistical managers are highly aware of all dimensions of quality. However, some shortcomings may detract from the accurate and timely analysis of economic and financial developments and the formulation of appropriate policy.
International Monetary Fund

The economic restructuring and expansion after the crisis reflected a combination of private sector initiative, solid macroeconomic management, including the shift from large deficits to significant surpluses of the general government, and structural reforms. High unemployment is one indication that structural rigidities continue to hamper Finland's output potential. In the face of high unemployment and rapid population aging, the discussions focused on supporting medium-term growth while securing long-term fiscal sustainability. Reflecting concerns about slowing growth, front-loaded expenditure increases, and tax cuts were at the center of the fiscal policy debate.

International Monetary Fund

This 1999 Article IV Consultation highlights that Finland’s economy has made a strong recovery from the deep recession that began in the early 1990s. Spurred by a devaluation of the markka, growth was predominantly export driven, and the external current account shifted from a deficit of more than 5 percent in the early 1990s to a surplus of the same magnitude in 1997/98. In this setting, prudent macroeconomic policies brought public finances from a deficit of 7 percent of GDP in 1993 to a surplus in 1998.