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Promises, Promises: Credible Policy Reform via Signalling

  • Rodrik, Dani

Empirical experience and theory both suggest that policy reforms can be aborted or reversed if they lack sufficient credibility. One reason for credibility problems is the doubt regarding how serious the government really is about the reform. This paper considers a framework in which the private sector is unable to distinguish between a genuinely reformist government and a government that simply feigns interest in reform because it is a precondition for foreign assistance. The general conclusion is that the magnitude of the reform may serve to convey the government's future intentions and, hence, act as a signal of its "type." Copyright 1989 by Royal Economic Society.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 99 (1989)
Issue (Month): 397 (September)
Pages: 756-72

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:99:y:1989:i:397:p:756-72
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  1. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Persson, Torsten & van Wijnbergen, Sweder, 1993. "Signalling, Wage Controls and Monetary Disinflation Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(416), pages 79-97, January.
  3. Rodrik, Dani, 1987. "Trade and capital-account liberalization in a keynesian economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 113-129, August.
  4. Alesina, Alberto, 1987. "Macroeconomic Policy in a Two-Party System as a Repeated Game," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(3), pages 651-78, August.
  5. Alesina, Alberto, 1987. "Macroeconomic Policy in a Two-party System as a Repeated Game," Scholarly Articles 4552531, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Staiger, Robert W & Tabellini, Guido, 1987. "Discretionary Trade Policy and Excessive Protection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 823-37, December.
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