Soft Budget Constraints, Taxes, and the Incentive to Cooperate
AbstractThis paper considers an economy where the macroeconomic equilibrium is the outcome of the conduct of an administration, consisting of a large number of decision makers whose horizon is uncertain, being endogenously determined by their behavior. Limited monitoring enables each decision maker to behave opportunistically in the short run, abusing his 'official' budget constraint, generating in the short run a degree of 'softness' in his budget. The uncertainty has two dimensions: the temporal one relates to the detection possibility facing the opportunistic decision maker, and the intertemporal one relates to the survival probability of the administration. We assume that the survival probability of the administration goes down with signals like inflation, tax rates and the like. In such a system, the public imposes a degree of discipline on the policy makers by its option to replace the administration, and the administration imposes discipline on the policy makers by monitoring their effective expenditure. We characterize the equilibrium, identifying conditions that yield limited cooperation. We show that adverse shocks (like a lower tax collection, lower international transfers, higher real interest rates and the like) or shorter horizon (due to greater instability) will tend to reduce cooperation among policy makers and will increase the inflation rate and the use of discretionary taxes.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3561.
Date of creation: Dec 1990
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as International Economic Review, November 1993, pp. 819-832
Note: ITI IFM
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Aizenman, Joshua, 1993. "Soft Budget Constraints, Taxes, and the Incentive to Cooperate," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(4), pages 819-32, November.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Aizenman, Joshua, 1992. "Competitive Externalities and the Optimal Seigniorage," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 24(1), pages 61-71, February.
- Cukierman, Alex & Edwards, Sebastian & Tabellini, Guido, 1992.
"Seigniorage and Political Instability,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 537-55, June.
- Kornai, Janos, 1986. "The Hungarian Reform Process: Visions, Hopes, and Reality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(4), pages 1687-1737, December.
- Rotemberg, Julio J & Saloner, Garth, 1986. "A Supergame-Theoretic Model of Price Wars during Booms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 390-407, June.
- Willem H. Buiter & Richard C. Marston, 1985.
"International Economic Policy Coordination,"
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number buit85-1, May.
- Svensson, Jakob, 1997.
"Collusion Among Interest Grops: Foreign Aid and Rent Dissipation,"
610, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
- Svensson, J, 1996. "Collusion Among Interest Groups : Foreign Aid and Rent-Dissipation," Papers 610, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
- Mehrdad Vahabi, 2001.
"The Soft Budget Constraint: A Theoretical Clarification,"
- Mehrdad VAHABI, 2001. "The Soft Budget Constraint : A Theoretical Clarification," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 2001024, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
- Beetsma, R.M.W.J. & Bovenberg, A.L., 1995.
"Monetary union without fiscal coordination may discipline policymakers,"
1995-59, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Beetsma, Roel M. W. J. & Lans Bovenberg, A., 1998. "Monetary union without fiscal coordination may discipline policymakers," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 239-258, August.
- Beetsma, R.M.W.J. & Bovenberg, A.L., 1995. "Monetary Union without Fiscal Coordination May Discipline Policymakers," DELTA Working Papers 95-22, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
- Valeria De Bonis & Pompeo Della Posta, 2005. "Strategic interactions between monetary and fiscal authorities in a monetary union," Working Papers de Economia (Economics Working Papers) 26, Departamento de Economia, Gestão e Engenharia Industrial, Universidade de Aveiro.
- Qian, Rong, 2012. "Why do some countries default more often than others ? the role of institutions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5993, The World Bank.
- Joshua Aizenman & Ricardo Hausmann, 1994. "Why is Inflation Skewed? A Debt and Volatility Story," NBER Working Papers 4837, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Sebastian M. Saiegh & Mariano Tommasi, 1999. "Why is Argentina’s Fiscal Federalism so Inefficient? Entering the Labyrinth," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 169-209, May.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.