A New Fiscal Rule: Should Israel Go Swiss?
29 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2008
Date Written: April 2008
We propose a fiscal rule that fulfills a specific debt reduction objective while maintaining significant fiscal flexibility - two overarching concerns in Israel. Not unlike the Swiss "debt brake," the rule incorporates an error-correction mechanism (ECM) through which departure from the debt objective affects binding medium-run expenditure ceilings. Two variants of our ECM rule are shown to be superior to a comparable deficit rule in terms of attaining the debt objective and allowing for fiscal stabilization while supporting medium-term expenditure planning. Given its relative sophistication, a proper implementation of the ECM rule requires supportive fiscal institutions, including independent input and assessment.
Keywords: Working Paper, Israel
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