Fiscal Sustainability: Conceptual, Institutional, and Policy Issues
Since 2008, the world economy has been facing the consequences of the global financial crisis. One consequence has been the rapid growth of public debt in many advanced economies, resulting from overly optimistic estimates of the fiscal situation before the crisis, declining government revenues and increasing social expenditures during the crisis, costs associated with the restructuring of the banking system, and countercyclical fiscal policies, among others. Emerging market economies appeared more resilient immediately after the 2008–2009 crisis; however, declining commodity prices and decelerating growth during 2014–2016 have weakened their fiscal positions. Faced with a growing debt burden, many governments have attempted to determine the “safe” level of fiscal deficit and public debt. However, this is not an easy task. There is no single standard of fiscal safety for all economies. Experience shows that default risk may occur at various, and sometimes seemingly very low, levels of public debt. Lessons from the latest crises also highlight the importance of more accurate estimations of countries’ contingent fiscal liabilities, namely those relating to the stability of the financial sector. Looking ahead, estimations of other contingent liabilities, particularly those related to social welfare systems (the implicit debts of the public pension and health systems) are of primary importance in the context of an aging society and a population decline. In most countries, these liabilities far exceed official public debt figures. That is, official debt statistics do not present an adequate picture of a nation’s public debt and the true fiscal burden that will be passed on to the next generations of taxpayers.
Since 2008, the world economy has been facing consequences of the global financial crisis. One of them is rapid growth in public debt in most advanced economies, which resulted from an overoptimistic estimate of fiscal situation before the crisis, declining government revenue and increasing social expenditure during the crisis, costs of the banking system restructuring, countercyclical fiscal policies, etc.
For this reason, many governments are trying to determine a ‘safe’ level of fiscal deficit and public debt. However, this is not an easy task. There is no single standard of fiscal safety for all economies. Besides, a globalized economy and irregular business cycle make it difficult to find out in which phase of the cycle a given economy is at the moment, while this is essential to assess fiscal indicators.
Historical experience shows that default risk may materialize at different levels of public debt, sometimes seemingly very low. In fact, a ‘safe’ borrowing level is country-specific and depends on many factors and often unpredictable circumstances. However, given the tense situation in global markets, the ‘safe’ level of public debt is lower than it used to be a decade ago. Another argument for a cautious approach concerns a highly pro-cyclical nature of such measures as the fiscal deficit to GDP or public debt to GDP ratios.
Lessons of the latest crises also indicate importance of more accurate estimation of countries’ contingent fiscal liabilities, particularly of those relating to the stability in the financial sector. If looking into the future, a correct estimation of other contingent liabilities, particularly those related to social welfare systems (implicit debt of the public pension and health systems) are of primary importance in the context of the ageing society and population decline. These liabilities far exceed official statistics on the public debt in some counties. As a result, such statistics does not present an adequate picture of the nation's public debt and actual fiscal burden that will be imposed on the shoulders of the following generations of taxpayers.
Demyanova E.A. SPAIN IN THE EU: RESULTS. This article is devoted to studying of the results of Spain's accession to the European Union. The research is based on investigation of gradual integration of Spain in the carrying out of the main EU policies, such as: fiscal, monetary, foreign trade and foreign exchange, and estimation of how this affected the Spanish economy. As a result of realized analysis the following conclusion can be made - the participation in EU policy has helped Spain to deal with many problems that existed for a long time and leaded to stabilizing economic growth rates.
This paper studies fiscal policy in Russia 2004–2010 with the aid of structural budget balance and fiscal impulse measures. To check for robustness several methods estimating the potential GDP are employed. The research suggests a hypothesis that the output in Russia is subject to two types of shocks: persistent outward shocks and short-term internal shocks. In 2004–2010, fiscal policy coped with the internal shocks but could not smooth outward instability. Fiscal policy in Russia is procyclical; it does not stabilize the output.
Chapter of the book examines the fiscal policy of Russia and, mainly, the creation of the Stabilization Fund as a mean to counter the negative effects of external macroeconomic conditions. The role of the Stabilization Fund in Russia in the early period of the crisis of 2008-09 was shown.
Smoking is a problem, bringing signifi cant social and economic costs to Russiansociety. However, ratifi cation of the World health organization Framework conventionon tobacco control makes it possible to improve Russian legislation accordingto the international standards. So, I describe some measures that should be taken bythe Russian authorities in the nearest future, and I examine their effi ciency. By studyingthe international evidence I analyze the impact of the smoke-free areas, advertisementand sponsorship bans, tax increases, etc. on the prevalence of smoking, cigaretteconsumption and some other indicators. I also investigate the obstacles confrontingthe Russian authorities when they introduce new policy measures and the public attitudetowards these measures. I conclude that there is a number of easy-to-implementanti-smoking activities that need no fi nancial resources but only a political will.
One of the most important indicators of company's success is the increase of its value. The article investigates traditional methods of company's value assessment and the evidence that the application of these methods is incorrect in the new stage of economy. So it is necessary to create a new method of valuation based on the new main sources of company's success that is its intellectual capital.