Dynamic scoring

Dynamic scoring predicts the impact of fiscal policy changes by forecasting the effects of economic agents' reactions to policy. It is an adaptation of static scoring, the traditional method for analyzing policy changes.

The method yields a more accurate prediction of a policy's impact on a country's fiscal balance and economic output when it can be performed accurately. The potential for heightened accuracy arises from recognition that households and firms will alter their behavior to continue maximizing welfare (households) or profits (firms) under the new policy. Dynamic scoring is more accurate than static scoring when the econometric model correctly captures how households and firms will react to a policy change.

Dynamic scoring is difficult to apply in practice due to the complexity of modeling economic agents' behavior. Economists must infer from economic agents' current behavior how the agents would behave under the new policy. Difficulty increases as the proposed policy becomes increasingly unlike current policy. Likewise, the difficulty of dynamic scoring increases as the time horizon under consideration lengthens. This is due to any model's intrinsic inability to account for unforeseen external shocks in the future.



Dynamic scoring has recently been promoted by conservatives to argue that supply-side tax policy, for example the Bush tax cuts of 2001[1] and 2011 GOP Path to Prosperity proposal[2], return higher benefits in terms of GDP growth and revenue increases than are predicted from static scoring.


Some liberal economists have argued that conservatives have oversold the conclusions of dynamic scoring[3], that current CBO practices already include some dynamic scoring elements[4] and that to include more may lead to politicization of the department[4].


  1. ^ Wilson, D; William Beach. "The Economic Impact of President Bush's Tax Relief Plan". The Heritage Foundation. http://origin.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2001/04/The-Economic-Impact-of-President-Bushs-Tax-Relief-Plan. Retrieved 6 April 2011. 
  2. ^ Ryan, Paul. "Path to Prosperity 2012". http://paulryan.house.gov/UploadedFiles/PathToProsperityFY2012.pdf. Retrieved 6 April 2011. 
  3. ^ Brad deLong's blog
  4. ^ a b Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

See also

External links

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