A Historical Dataset of Federal Government Spending Changes for Canada

Published: 24 November 2022| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/7k8rbvksvk.1
, Lin Liu


This dataset presents a narrative record of all announced federal government spending changes in Canada between 1949q1 and 2012q1. We use the federal government’s budget documents, mostly the budget speech, to document announced spending measures. Other budget documents that we use include the Economic Statements, Financial Statements, Mini Budgets, Interim Budgets, and Economic and Budget Updates. We document the motivation behind each announced measure. Based on these motivations, we classify spending changes as exogenous or endogenous. Exogenous changes are those that are not motivated by contemporaneous economic conditions of the country. Endogenous changes are those that are taken in response to current economic conditions. We also document the size of a change, whether it was intended to be temporary or permanent, the duration of the measure, and the size of the measure that was to be implemented in the same year as it is announced. This is the first dataset for any country that comprehensively presents all spending changes undertaken by a government.


Steps to reproduce

Data created by reading all budget documents – including the budget speeches, financial statements, economic statements, interim budgets, and economic and financial updates. Each spending change announced by the Federal government was documented using these documents. Related research article: Hussain, Syed M. and Liu, Lin, Macroeconomic Effects of Government Spending Shocks: New Narrative Evidence from Canada, Journal of Macroeconomics. In Press.


James Madison University, University of Liverpool


Economics, Macroeconomics, Public Economics