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Credit rating agencies and elections in emerging democracies: Guardians of fiscal discipline?


  • Hanusch, Marek
  • Vaaler, Paul M.


Analyses of budget balances in 18 emerging presidential democracies observed prior to the financial crisis of 2008–2009 show that credit rating agencies induce fiscal discipline in election years, thus reducing incentives for governments to borrow opportunistically for short-term electoral gain.

Suggested Citation

  • Hanusch, Marek & Vaaler, Paul M., 2013. "Credit rating agencies and elections in emerging democracies: Guardians of fiscal discipline?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 119(3), pages 251-254.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:119:y:2013:i:3:p:251-254 DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2013.03.004

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brender, Adi & Drazen, Allan, 2005. "Political budget cycles in new versus established democracies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1271-1295, October.
    2. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
    3. Shi, Min & Svensson, Jakob, 2006. "Political budget cycles: Do they differ across countries and why?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1367-1389, September.
    4. Block, Steven A. & Vaaler, Paul M., 2004. "The price of democracy: sovereign risk ratings, bond spreads and political business cycles in developing countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 917-946, October.
    5. Lawrence J. White, 2010. "Markets: The Credit Rating Agencies," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 211-226, Spring.
    6. William D. Nordhaus, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 169-190.
    7. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
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    Cited by:

    1. Antoine Cazals & Pierre Mandon, 2015. "Political Budget Cycles: Manipulation of Leaders or Bias from Research? A Meta-Regression Analysis," Working Papers halshs-01238883, HAL.
    2. Antoine CAZALS & Pierre MANDON, 2016. "Political Budget Cycles: Manipulation from Leaders or Manipulation from Researchers? Evidence from a Meta-Regression Analysis," Working Papers 201609, CERDI.
    3. Antoine Cazals & Pierre Mandon, 2016. "Political Budget Cycles: Manipulation from Leaders or Manipulation from Researchers? Evidence from a Meta-Regression Analysis," Working Papers halshs-01320586, HAL.
    4. Duygun, Meryem & Ozturk, Huseyin & Shaban, Mohamed, 2016. "The role of sovereign credit ratings in fiscal discipline," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 197-216.

    More about this item


    Credit rating agencies; Elections; Fiscal policy; Political budget cycle;

    JEL classification:

    • F30 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - General
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O23 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Fiscal and Monetary Policy in Development


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