Elva Bova, Marta Ruiz Arranz, Frederik Toscani, Elif Ture, 15 March 2016

A contingent fiscal liability is a potential obligation for the government that depends on a possible future event. Understanding the origin, size, and triggers of these liabilities is increasingly important. This column presents new findings using a novel dataset of 200 episodes involving the materialisation of contingent liabilities. The fiscal costs of the liabilities are large, at 6% of GDP on average. Importantly, countries with stronger institutions and lower growth volatility tend to suffer less from contingent liability realisations. 

Joakim Ruist, 28 January 2016

The current inflow of refugees into Europe has left policymakers in disagreement over how to react. A major concern is the perceived financial burden that can result from large intakes. This column discusses the fiscal impact of refugees on the Swedish economy. The current net redistribution from the non-refugee population to refugees (excluding arrivals in 2015) is estimated to be 1.35% of GDP. The economic burden of a generous refugee policy is therefore not particularly heavy, especially if the host country incorporates them as quickly as possible into the labour market.