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BRIEF October 18, 2021

A Cross-Country Database of Fiscal Space

Fall 2021 version -- data updated to 2020

The World Bank’s Prospects Group has constructed a comprehensive cross-country database of fiscal space. The database covers 202 countries over the period 1990-2020, and includes 28 indicators of fiscal space grouped into four categories:

  • Government debt sustainability
  • Balance sheet composition
  • External and private sector debt
  • Market access

The working paper, prepared by M. Ayhan Kose, Sergio Kurlat, Franziska Ohnsorge, and Naotaka Sugawara, provides detailed information on the database and shows potential applications of the database by analyzing developments across three time frames: over the past quarter century, during financial crises, and during oil price plunges.

Data Download

The data are available for download in Excel and Stata.


When using the data, please cite the following paper as the data source:

Kose, M. Ayhan, Sergio Kurlat, Franziska Ohnsorge, and Naotaka Sugawara (2017). "A Cross-Country Database of Fiscal Space." Policy Research Working Paper 8157, World Bank, Washington, DC.


The concept of fiscal space used here may differ from the definition used in operational documents as defined in World Bank (2017).


For more information, please contact Ayhan Kose (, Franziska Ohnsorge (, and Naotaka Sugawara (