THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
Craig Burnside (ed.). Fiscal Sustainability in Theory and Practice: A Handbook. Washington, D. C.: World Bank. 2005. pp.xx+285. Price not given.
Fiscal sustainability is essential for economic growth and comprises a set of fiscal policies that result in financial solvency over the long run. As such, fiscal sustainability is the prime objective of the World Bank’s Quality of Fiscal Adjustment Thematic Group (QFATG). It is a main issue in developing countries. The articles compiled from many journals here address fiscal sustainability analysis and the practical work undertaken by the Bank’s Development Economic Research Group (DECRG) or Poverty Reduction Economic Management undertaken by the Economic Policy Group (PRMEG) and others. This book, basically a combination of economic theory and practical methods of analysis, provides a simple set of tools to assess a government’s budget and debt position and is a comprehensive source of information on fiscal sustainability. It describes the effects of business cycles on public finance and examines the role of fiscal rule and currency crises and their impact on fiscal sustainability. Some basic concepts are explained, with solutions of complicated practical problems such as contingent liabilities, external debt position, and fiscal federalism.