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Do Good Or Do Well? Public Debt Management In A Two-Party Economy


  • Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti


Governments facing elections may strategically manipulate policy instruments in order to increase their re-election chances. The incentives for strategic manipulation are studied in the context of a debt management model, in which two parties with different inflation aversion compete in elections. It is shown that the inflation-averse party may issue nominal debt in order to make its opponent "look bad" to voters, thus getting closer to the median voter. Nominal debt artificially enlarges the ex-post inflation tax base, causing higher inflation. Conversely, an inflation-prone government may issue indexed debt in order to reduce inflation incentives. Copyright 1995 Blackwell Publishers Ltd..

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  • Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 1995. "Do Good Or Do Well? Public Debt Management In A Two-Party Economy," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(1), pages 59-78, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:7:y:1995:i:1:p:59-78

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hagen, Rune Jansen, 2002. "The electoral politics of public sector institutional reform," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 449-473, September.
    2. Rune Jansen Hagen & Gaute Torsvik, 2007. "Irreversible Investments, Dynamic Inconsistency and Policy Convergence," CESifo Working Paper Series 1910, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Uhlig, H.F.H.V.S., 1997. "Long Term Debt and the Political Support for a Monetary Union," Discussion Paper 1997-13, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    4. Caselli, Francesco, 1997. "On the distribution of debt and taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 367-386, September.
    5. Nuno Ribeiro & Susana Jorge & Mercedes Cervera, 2013. "Estudo do Endividamento da Administração Local Portuguesa: Evidência Empírica USando Modelos de Análise de Dados em Painel," Notas Económicas, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra, issue 38, pages 46-67, December.
    6. Leopoldo Fergusson & James A. Robinson & Ragnar Torvik & Juan F. Vargas, 2016. "The Need for Enemies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(593), pages 1018-1054, June.
    7. Jonsson, Gunnar, 1997. "Monetary politics and unemployment persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 303-325, July.
    8. Javier Salinas, 1998. "The Constitutional Political Economy of Public Deficits: The Spanish Case 1," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 235-249, September.

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