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In recent years, many countries have adopted Fiscal Responsibility Laws to strengthen fiscal institutions and promote fiscal discipline in a credible, predictable and transparent manner. Still, results on the effectiveness of these laws remain tentative. In this paper, the authors test empirically whether fiscal performance, measured as the level of primary fiscal balances and their volatility, indeed improved after the implementation of Fiscal Responsibility Laws in a sample of Latin American and advanced economies. They show that traditional econometric approaches, which rely on the use of dummies in time series or panel regressions, yield biased estimates.
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