The Congressional Budget Office makes transparency a top priority. One important way in which we are transparent is that we document the basis of our findings. This year, we have worked especially hard to document more of our modeling efforts.
Some of our explanations provide general information. For example, today we released an interactive workbook that demonstrates how CBO projects estimates of spending on discretionary programs over multiple years. That workbook will help Congressional staff and researchers understand an important component of our process for producing roughly 40 percent of our formal cost estimates and almost all baseline projections for discretionary accounts.
Other efforts are more technical. To help interested researchers understand our analytical results, we have recently published new types of information:
- Data and computer code associated with a working paper, Estimating and Projecting Potential Output Using CBO’s Forecasting Growth Model, which can be used to replicate our estimates of maximum sustainable output from 1949 to 2016; and
- Data and computer code associated with another working paper, How CBO Adjusts for Survey Underreporting of Transfer Income in Its Distributional Analyses, which can be used to replicate our imputations for three of the largest means-tested transfer programs from 1979 to 2016.
We have also worked to bolster transparency by releasing more details that underlie the findings in our reports. For instance, when we published a report about Medicaid managed care yesterday, we also released a set of files with historical data about enrollment in and spending for Medicaid managed care for each state and eligibility group. Those data also include information about which states had various types of managed care programs from 1999 to 2014. Also included, for states that had general comprehensive managed care organizations, is information about whether those programs were statewide or regional and which eligibility groups and services the programs covered.
In testimony earlier this year, I discussed transparency at CBO more broadly. If you have any thoughts about our efforts, please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We continually seek such feedback to make our work as useful as possible.
Keith Hall is CBO’s Director.