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Tough Policies, Incredible Policies?

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  • Andres Velasco
  • Alejandro Neut

Abstract

We revisit the question of what determines the credibility of macroeconomic policies here, of promises to repay public debt. Almost all thinking on the issue has focused on governments' strategic decision to default (or erode the value of outstanding debt via inflation/devaluation). But sometimes governments default not because they want to, but because they cannot avoid it: adverse shocks leave them no option. We build a model in which default/devaluation can occur deliberately (for strategic reasons) or unavoidably. If such unavoidable fiscal crises a) have pecuniary costs and b) occur with possible probability, much conventional wisdom on the determinantes of credibility need no longer hold. For instance, appointing a conservative policymaker or denominating public debt in foreign currency may reduce, not increase, credibility.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9932.

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Date of creation: Sep 2003
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9932

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  1. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
  2. Maurice Obstfeld., 1996. "Destabilizing Effects of Exchange-Rate Escape Clauses," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C96-075, University of California at Berkeley.
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Cited by:
  1. Ignacio Lozano & Hernán Rincón & Miguel Sarmiento & Jorge Ramos, 2008. "Regla fiscal cuantitativa para consolidar y blindar las finanzas públicas de Colombia," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 004597, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  2. Kose, Ayhan & Prasad, Eswar & Rogoff, Kenneth & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2009. "Financial Globalization and Economic Policies," CEPR Discussion Papers 7117, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2011. "A Solution to Overoptimistic Forecasts and Fiscal Procyclicality: The Structural Budget Institutions Pioneered by Chile," Scholarly Articles 4723209, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  4. Hefeker, Carsten, 2004. "Default, Electoral Uncertainty and the Choice of Exchange Regime," HWWA Discussion Papers 298, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
  5. Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2011. "A Lesson from the South for Fiscal Policy in the US and Other Advanced Countries," Working Paper Series rwp11-014, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  6. Rodrik, Dani, 2008. "Second-Best Institutions," CEPR Discussion Papers 6764, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Jeffrey Frankel, 2011. "Over-optimism in forecasts by official budget agencies and its implications," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(4), pages 536-562.
  8. Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2011. "How Can Commodity Exporters Make Fiscal and Monetary Policy Less Procyclical?," Scholarly Articles 4735392, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  9. Juan Carlos Echeverry & Jorge Alexander Bonilla & Andrés Moya, 2006. "Rigideces Institucionales y Flexibilidad Presupuestaria: Origen, Motivación y Efectos sobre el Presupuesto," IDB Publications 9091, Inter-American Development Bank.
  10. Ricardo Ffrench-Davis, 2008. "From Financieristic To Real Macroeconomics: Seeking Development Convergence In Ees," Working Papers wp272, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
  11. Jeffrey Frankel, 2011. "A Solution to Fiscal Procyclicality: the Structural Budget Institutions Pioneered by Chile," Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 14(2), pages 39-78, August.

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