Structural Fiscal Balances Database for LAC: A Tool to Assess Fiscal Performance in the Region
The database allows estimating structural fiscal balances for 20 countries in the region under different assumptions regarding the output gap and commodity structural prices. It is a unique database of its kind since: 1) It takes into consideration the distinct responsiveness of different types of revenues to changes in the output gap: In order to adjust for the impact of the business cycle on revenues, we calculate individual elasticities for each source of revenue (i.e. direct taxes, indirect taxes, revenues from non-renewable resources, etc.). Since the different types of revenues in the region have different sensitivities to changes in the output gap, this disaggregated approach allows for a more fine-tuned adjustment. 2) It includes estimations of SFBs based on output gaps projections available in real time. In addition to giving estimations of the actual SFBs, we provide with estimations of the SFBs that would have resulted should the projections on output gaps available to policymakers at the time of designing fiscal policy (data in real time) have been correct. This is in contrast to much of the existing work on structural fiscal balances that makes only an ex post analysis using actual and revised information on the output gaps. 3) It allows assessing the response of fiscal policy to the business cycle. We provide with measures of the fiscal impulse, assessing not only the actual but also the intentional fiscal stance, as well as the degree of procyclicality of fiscal policy.