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Explaining Fiscal Policies and Inflation in Developing Countries

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  • Sebastian Edwards
  • Guido Tabellini

Abstract

In this paper we investigate erririca1ly the determinants of inflation, seigniorage an fiscal deficits in developing countries. We first test the optimal taxation theory of inflation for a grip of 21 LDCs. We find that the implications of this theory is rejected for all the countries. We then proceed to implement a number of tests based on the new political economy approach to macroeconomic policies: we deal with some of the implications of a credibility and reputation model, and of a strategic government behavior model. We find that the data supports the most important predictions of the political economy view of fiscal policy. Our measures of political instability and political polarization play an important role in explaining cross country differences in seigniorage, inflation, government borrowing and fiscal deficits. We end by discussing directions for future research.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3493.

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Date of creation: Oct 1990
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Publication status: published as Journal of International Money and Finance, Vol. 10, pp. S16-S48, (1991).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3493

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  1. Faig, Miquel, 1988. "Characterization of the optimal tax on money when it functions as a medium of exchange," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 137-148, July.
  2. Alesina, Alberto & Drazen, Allan, 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1170-88, December.
  3. Poterba, J.M. & Rotemberg, J.J., 1989. "Inflation And Taxation With Optimizing Governments," Working papers 521, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Alex Cukierman & Sebastian Edwards & Guido Tabellini, 1989. "Seigniorage and Political Instability," NBER Working Papers 3199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
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